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Shadow Tag
Shadow Tag
Author: Louise Erdrich
Here is the most telling fact: you wish to possess me. — Here is another fact: I loved you and let you think you could. — When Irene America discovers that her husband, Gil, has been reading her diary, she begins a secret Blue Notebook, stashed securely in a safe-deposit box. There she records the truth about her life and her marriage, while turni...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780061536090
ISBN-10: 0061536091
Publication Date: 2/1/2010
Pages: 272
  • Currently 2.3/5 Stars.

2.3 stars, based on 26 ratings
Publisher: Harper
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

Catspaw avatar reviewed Shadow Tag on
Helpful Score: 4
I had hoped that this book would be so much more than it was. Instead, it's maudlin and meandering, and told in an affectless tone that tends to disengage the reader from the characters. Adding to the sense of a tale being told at one remove, the dialog isn't in quotes for some reason, making it occasionally difficult to distinguish thought from speech.

The story itself is somewhat less interesting than the synopsis suggests. It's the story of a dysfunctionally married couple, and marginally, thier three children. The parents torment one another, and they and the children live with the tension and fallout. There's a very little bit of a payoff at the end, but it's not worth the long and depressing journey.
reviewed Shadow Tag on
Helpful Score: 1
Every few years I find myself reading another Erdrich book only to be reminded that her writing can be quite depressing. This book, as are the others of hers I've read, is very well written and difficult to put down. The story line was a bit off putting but so well written that I had to finish it.
c-squared avatar reviewed Shadow Tag on + 181 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Through her real diary, her fake diary (which she uses to manipulate her husband), and the words of an omniscient narrator (whose identity is revealed at the end of the book), Shadow Tag tells the story of Irene and her husband Gil, as they struggle through a dysfunctional relationship. It's a train wreck you can't look away from, knowing that it will end badly, while you still hope for the best.
mom2nine avatar reviewed Shadow Tag on + 342 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I found this book to be dark, meaning that I had a difficult time shaking the story and not in a good way. with that said, the characters were well developed. when does love turn obsessive, can one know another too well or feel as though she has no privacy left.
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reviewed Shadow Tag on + 166 more book reviews
Louise Erdrich writes with honesty, courage, tenderness, and sometimes dark humor about Native American people: families, communities, youth,parents, in ways that resonate with all of us. Shadow Tag strips a family to its core, the entangling love, the cruelty, the petty revenges that make the reader cringe. A husband who is an iconic painter with a national reputation, the wife who has been his muse and subject, but now feels trapped in their relationship, and three children who seemed tossed by the storm of their household, trying in their naïveté to make plans for survival. Beautifully written, but dark in its unflinching honesty, the book closes with tragedy but hopefulness for the future of the survivors.
reviewed Shadow Tag on + 5 more book reviews
way too dark for my taste. I did not like it.
laceylosh avatar reviewed Shadow Tag on + 53 more book reviews
I really enjoyed this novel (more than any other I've read of Erdrich's novels). I found it confusing at first, switching between the red and blue journals and the fact that the rest of the storyline seemed to bleed into the journal entries at times. I think I found this confusing, since it was all written without quotation marks, even when the main story was being told. I got used to this style after awhile, and started to appreciate it for it's unique qualities.

For me, there was something almost comforting about the description in detail of Gil's artwork and the children's relationships with one another. It was a good "alternative" wintertime read. That said, I like a good novel with some dark subject matter.
reviewed Shadow Tag on + 48 more book reviews
Based on this book's rave reviews, I was very excited to jump right in an enjoy it. Except I found it tedious and kind of sad. None of the characters are likable and I just feel bad for them all - they all seem quite miserable. I made it to page 80-something and decided to throw in the towel. Life is too short to waste time on a book I dread reading. NEXT
christinaholly avatar reviewed Shadow Tag on + 27 more book reviews
This was one of the most boring books I've ever read. I didn't care about any of the characters, and the lack of quotation marks irritated me. The concept was interesting, but poorly executed.

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