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Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 430

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The Round House by Louise Erdrich is a dramatic novel centered around an unnamed Indigenous Reservation in North Dakota. A family in 1988 struggles to cope with a horrendous event.

Antone "Joe" Coutts: A 13 year old Ojibwe boy, an only child of Geraldine and Bazil. Much of the novel centers on his turbulent life following the rape of his mother, including the beating of her rapist, the finding and subsequent losing of thousands of dollars, finding his aunt (by marriage) giving a lap dance to his grandfather, an attempted murder, and a fatal car accident.

Cappy: Joe's best friend. He supports Joe's plan to kill his mother's rapist and teaches him to shoot in preparation, eventually delivering the fatal shot himself.

Geraldine Coutts: The aging mother of Joe, Geraldine is violently raped by an unknown man. She falls into a deep depression and refuses to talk about the incident until external events force her hand.

Antone "Bazil" Coutts: The patriarch of the Coutts family and a Tribal judge, Bazil believes his wife was raped over a former case he presided on. Among the files he shows Joe is the adoption of a white woman. He and Joe attack Geraldine's rapist, but in the commotion he suffers a heart attack and must recover in a city hospital while the rest of the events unfold.

Uncle Whitey and Sonja: Joe's uncle and his wife. In the wake of his mother's rape, Joe starts spending more time with them, becoming very close with Sonja, a former stripper. When Joe finds a doll with $40k in a riverbed, he takes it to Sonja who eventually steals and runs away with it.

Linda Wishkob: The adopted daughter of a tribal family, Linda was abandoned due to birth defects. Her birth mother reopens lines of contact because Linda's biological brother is in need of a kidney transplant.

Linden Lark: The biological brother of Linda and a violent racist drunk, it is Linden who rapes Geraldine and another woman behind the Round House, a spiritual center on the reservation. He harasses her constantly after being freed from prison, despite being committed due to her testimony.

Mayla Wolfskin: Another Ojibwe woman who had asked Geraldine for a meeting in regards to an Indigenous boy with no known family who is a candidate for adoption. She is the other woman Linden rapes and after his mother's testimony, Joe realizes the money in the doll he found belonged to her.

There are other minor characters who I will just list: Mooshum, Uncle Edwards, Grandma Ignatia, Clemence, Father Travis, Randall, and Angus.