Saturday, July 22, 2006

69. "Love Medicine" ~ Louise Erdrich


Life on a North Dakota reservation is brought to vivid luminosity in Erdrich's Love Medicine. While it's labeled a novel, I approached it as a series of short stories about the same group of people, namely the Kashpaw and Lamartine families, and how their lives are interwoven through a series of sixty years.

Written in 1984, I'm sure this book made a ripple in the literary world. Now, however, my over-wrought sense of political correctness bristles at the cartoonish caricatures of Indians as alcoholics. But when Erdrich wrote about the sisters at the church, I fell under her melodic spell. Who can imagine such cruelty? Who can imagine such passion?

Overall, that's what this book is about... the love-hate relationships that entrap us, endear us. "You could really mess up your life grinding the wrong thing," says Lipsha Morrissey in the best chapter/story, "Love Medicine." Wise words that have no expiration date.

4.0 out of 5.0 Crest Shots.

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