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Love Medicine (1984)

by Louise Erdrich

Series: Love Medicine (1)

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3,881783,123 (3.9)1 / 300
The lives and destinies of the Kashpaws and the Lamartines intertwine on and around a North Dakota Indian reservation from 1934 to 1984, in an authentic tale of survival, tenacity, tradition, injustice, and love.

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English (74)  Spanish (1)  French (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (77)
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
Enjoyed this a lot; a great first novel. It's a generational novel that's really a series of short stories, so not a page-turner - but each chapter had a pleasing shape and moments that touch the heart.

Despite the setting and bleak opening, there was a lot of warmth in this book. Characters are outrageous but not caricatures; they hurt each other and themselves, but they feel human and relatable.

The narrator that steals the show, of course, is Lipsha. A wise and witty young autodidact, his voice is totally unexpected and beautifully written. He's the spiritual heart of the book, yet his moments of insight are complex - he's definitely not a trope-y magical Indian.

Will read (and recommend) more Erdrich! ( )
  raschneid | Dec 19, 2023 |
In Love Medicine we meet people whose ancestors and descendants will populate so many of Erdrich's novels--the intertwined families of Nanapush, Pillager, Kashpaw and Lamartine, among others, including the nuns from the convent "up the hill". It's a story lover's dream, and a genealogist's Rubik's cube. It hits all my Faulkner buttons, too. The stories in this book are just pieces of the saga, and the big picture will never come clear until all the rest of the parts have been revealed, and shuffled around by one character and then another. I suppose this puts some readers off, but it’s the kind of thing that I just love. I give it 4 stars and a hug. ( )
  laytonwoman3rd | Mar 25, 2023 |
This book contains a series of interrelated vignettes told from the points of view of about a dozen members of three related Chippewa families living in North Dakota. It covers a half century from 1934 to 1984. The stories are sequenced in a non-linear manner. They complement each other, often portraying a different person’s interpretation of the same situation.

The stories are told with elements of humor and tragedy, and the people come across as realistic and relatable. Themes include family, faith, substance abuse, betrayal, and love. It is a multifaceted and compassionate portrayal of issues that have cascaded down generations of indigenous people.

This book is Louise Erdrich’s debut. I have read several of her books and enjoyed them all. Her writing is stellar. She addresses Native American issues in a manner that is integrated into her storytelling. I find it a very effective way to communicate. ( )
  Castlelass | Oct 30, 2022 |
I read this right after "Shadow Tag" and couldn't figure out who was who, if the stories were interconnected, or what was going on. ( )
  iszevthere | Jun 21, 2022 |
Love Medicine : A Novel (Perennial Classics) by Louise Erdrich (2005)
  sharibillops | May 20, 2022 |
Showing 1-5 of 74 (next | show all)
''Love Medicine'' is an engrossing book. With this impressive debut Louise Erdrich enters the company of America's better novelists, and I'm certain readers will want to see more from this imaginative and accomplished young writer
There are at least a dozen of the many vividly drawn people in this first novel who will not leave the mind once they are let in. Their power comes from Louise Erdrich's mastery of words. Nobody really talks the way they do, but the language of each convinces you you have heard them speaking all your life, and that illusion draws you quickly into their world, a place of poor shacks stuck amid the wrecks of old cars and other junk made beautiful in Miss Erdrich's evocation.
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Grandma Mary Gourneau, Gertrude Crow Dog and my brothers Mark, Louis, Terry (Amikoos), and Raoul, and my friend Earl Livermore were some people especially in my thoughts as I wrote this book. I could not have written it this way without Michael Dorris, who gave his own ideas, experiences, and devoted attention to the writing. This book is dedicated to him because he is so much a part of it.
First words
The morning before Easter Sunday, June Kapshaw was walking down the clogged main street of oil boomtown Williston, North Dakota, killing time before the noon bus arrived that would take her home.
Right and wrong were shades of meaning, not sides of a coin.
They gave you worthless land to start with and then they chopped it out from under your feet. They took your kids away and stuffed the English language in their mouth. They sent your brother to hell, they shipped him back fried. They sold you booze for furs and then told you not to drink.
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The lives and destinies of the Kashpaws and the Lamartines intertwine on and around a North Dakota Indian reservation from 1934 to 1984, in an authentic tale of survival, tenacity, tradition, injustice, and love.

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