Friday, January 17, 2014

Review: Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich

From the back of the book:
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.

I put off reading this book for almost two years, and I'm so glad I finally picked it up.  It was wonderful.  I have to admit, in the beginning it seemed pretty daunting because there's a family tree, and whenever there's a family tree, I worry that there's going to be a ton of characters to keep track of.  In the beginning it was a bit confusing to remember who everyone was and how they were related, but after a while I got it and then the book really came into its own. 

There's no one storyline in this book.  It basically follows two families as they grow older, and like all families they have their ups and downs.  My favorite character was Marie Kashpaw.  We follow her from the time she's a little girl to when she's living in a retirement home.  She is so strong and has been through a lot, but through it all she has stayed true to herself and her family.  I really love the relationship she has with Lulu Lamartine, especially since Lulu was her deceased husband's former lover.

All in all, this was a great read.  Like I said, in the beginning it was a bit insane for me with all the characters, but then you get the hang of it and you're swept up in these stories about family, love, loss, and most of all, healing.

Have you read Love Medicine?  What did you think?  Let me know in the comments or on Twitter!

Title: Love Medicine
Author: Louise Erdrich
Date of Publication: 1984
Number of Pages: 333
Genre: Fiction
Source: Personal Copy

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