Painted Drum by Louise Erdrich
Louise Erdrich does a wonderful job in this book of showing how the past affects the present and intertwining her Native American heritage. This book started quite slowly, but had a few exciting life and death passages. Since I was listening to it, the jumps in time and place were a bit more disconcerting that if I had the book in hand and could flip back to see where certain characters fit in. Again, I ended up borrowing the book from the library to fill in the gaps, and it now has been too long since I read it to write this up properly.
Part One occurs in the present in New England, where we meet the antique dealer telling the story. As a result of an accident, a man dies, and she is asked to sell the contents of his house. Here, she finds the painted drum, and in an atypical move, she keeps the drum herself, knowing she is somehow connected to it and has to return it to the people that created it.
Part Two starts in the present in the Native American community in the northern Midwest. Bernhard knows the story of the drum and tells it, as it is the story of his ancestors - a story of love and betrayal.
Part Three occurs in the present day, where a couple of children almost die of cold and hunger, and in the process burn down their house, but are saved by the mystical sound of the drum.
Then we return to New England, where there is a certain closure to the story.