The first thing to realise in this complicated book is that there are five LaRoses, some living and some spirits, descending in a line from the first. The central LaRose is a small boy; the others are all women. One early autumn afternoon in 1999, Landreaux Iron, father of little LaRose, is stalking a fine buck on the edge of the Ojibwe reservation in North Dakota where they live. He hopes to provide winter meat for his and his neighbour’s family. He fires his gun. The buck runs into the trees. He has killed a child, LaRose’s playmate and cousin, Dusty Ravich.