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Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich
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Love Medicine (1984)

by Louise Erdrich

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2,992532,711 (3.89)214
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Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
Louise Erdrich writes truthfully but brilliantly about the native American lifestyle. This is the second book of hers that I have read (the Beet Queen being the other) and I am even more impressed by her abilities.

Some of this book was published previously as short stories in magazines such as Mother Jones and The Atlantic Monthly. I thought this novel would seem like patched together short stories but it doesn't. In fact, I have trouble imagining being satisfied by reading one segment alone. Each chapter seemed so intricately woven with the others that I can only presume that Erdrich conceived the whole story at one time.

The first story tells about June Kashpaw dying in a snowstorm after walking away from a man's car in the country. June was raised on a reserve in North Dakota and the rest of the book deals with all the other people who live or used to live on the reserve. The Kashpaws, the Morrisseys, the Lamartines and the Nanapushes mix and mingle. At times I found it hard to remember who was related to whom and how they were related. And I suspect that was deliberate because even they weren't always sure who fathered which child. But the urge to know one's family history is powerful and the children do figure it out.

I particularly liked the stories which dealt with an occurrence from several different angles. For instance, the story of Lulu Lamartine's home burning down is told from the perspective of Nector Kashpaw who was in love with Lulu (although married to Marie) and then from the point of view of Marie and finally discussed by Lulu. Each person has a different insight and remembers events slightly differently. Erdrich captures all the nuances expertly. ( )
  gypsysmom | Aug 7, 2017 |
I've read the first few stories and I really found the language and rhythm of the writing to be very interesting. The stories offer a somber glimpse of Native American life and spirituality. I found the imagery from the story of the nun to be very imaginative. ( )
  Humberto.Ferre | Sep 28, 2016 |
I found this book to depict Native Americans in a very negative and stereotypical light. The characters are connected through dysfunctional family connections, adultery and loose sexual morals. The males are depicted as drunks, cheaters and criminals; whereas the women are victims of this abuse but the strength that holds the family together. Personally I saw no love in this novel. ( )
  SheilaCornelisse | Jul 24, 2016 |
This is such a powerful book on so many different levels. It is the story of two different Native American families, rich with culture and tradition. Even though June Kashpaw dies within the first chapter, her spirit threads through the entire rest of the story. Just like the history of the land they live on, every subsequent character is complicated and vibrant. This isn't a plot-driven novel. Instead, the characters with their robust personalities and passionate life experiences make Love Medicine come alive. ( )
  SeriousGrace | Jun 13, 2016 |
Love Medicine – Louise Erdrich
4 stars

I’d met them before, the Kashpaws and the Lamartines. These inter-related families reappear other books, but Love Medicine was the Erdrich’s first novel. I had the original 1984 version of this book, which it has apparently been revised twice since its original publication. This book is essentially a collection of related short stories. Each story is told from the first person perspectives of various characters. Each story is somehow related to the death of June Kapshaw.

It’s easy to see why Erdrich received so much attention for her first book. The writing is powerful and expressive. The characters seem to walk right off the page. But I’m glad I read her more recent books first. Her writing has only gotten better.
( )
  msjudy | May 30, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (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.
Grandma Mary Gourneau, Gertrude Crow Dog, and by brothers Mark, Louis, Tery (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,m and devoted attention to the writing. This book is dedicated to him because he is so much a part of it.
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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.
The morning before Easter Sunday, June Kashpaw was walking down the clogged main street of the oil boomtown Williston, North Dakota, killing time before the noon bus arrived that would take her home.
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Right and wrong were shades of meaning, not sides of a coin.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0060786469, Paperback)

The stunning first novel in Louise Erdrich's Native American series, Love Medicine tells the story of two families -- the Kashpaws and the Lamartines. Written in Erdrich's uniquely poetic, powerful style, it is a multigenerational portrait of strong men and women caught in an unforgettable drama of anger, desire, and the healing power that is love medicine.

This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:35 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

An unforgettable drama of anger, magic, and healing in the lives of two Native American families.

» see all 5 descriptions

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