Group Read, June 2020: Love Medicine

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Group Read, June 2020: Love Medicine

1puckers
Jun. 1, 2020, 7:54am

Our June group read is Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich. Please join the read and post any comments on this thread.

2japaul22
Jun. 1, 2020, 9:04am

I will definitely be reading this. It's been on my shelf for a long time. I've also been interested in this author for a long time and this will be my first book that I read by her.

3DeltaQueen50
Jun. 3, 2020, 3:25am

I have my book ready and will probably be starting my read of Love Medicine this coming weekend. I have read one other Louise Erdrich previously, The Plague of Doves, which I really enjoyed.

4japaul22
Jun. 6, 2020, 3:19pm

I'm starting this today. Interestingly, my copy says it a "new and expanded version". A little digging tells me this a series of linked short stories and apparently this edition I have contains 5 stories that weren't in the original. Unfortunately I haven't found a comparison of the two versions to know which are added.

I guess it doesn't really matter, but it makes me curious! Mine contains 18 stories.

5japaul22
Jun. 6, 2020, 5:01pm

I couldn't start reading until I figured this out! The original book had 14 chapters/stories. In 1993 Erdrich published a new edition that added 4 stories: Lulu's Boys, Resurrection, The Tomahawk Factory, and Lyman's Luck. Then in 2009 she put out another edition that took back out The Tomahawk Factory and Lyman's Luck. She thought they distracted from the flow to the ending.

I have the 1993 version with the most stories in it. I think I will read it as though it is the 2009 edition and skip The Tomahawk Factory and Lyman's Luck.

6DeltaQueen50
Jun. 11, 2020, 4:12pm

My Kindle version has 16 stories, including Lulu's Boys. Tomahawk Factory is also included at the back of the book after the author's notes. Lyman's Luck is not included with this volume.

7DeltaQueen50
Jun. 12, 2020, 12:43am

I was totally captured by this book and spent most of today reading it. I gave it 4.5 stars, my only quibble was that I had some difficulty keeping the many characters straight, but I did appreciate the family tree that was at the beginning of the book. I found the author's writing very strong and I loved that I not only learned about Native Americans, I was given a story that I connected emotionally to.

8japaul22
Jun. 12, 2020, 11:14am

>7 DeltaQueen50: Oh, I wish I had a family tree in my edition! I'm having a really hard time keeping track of everyone with the time jumps and feel of different short stories.

Glad you loved it!

9DeltaQueen50
Jun. 12, 2020, 12:11pm

>8 japaul22: I found it very helpful as I was constantly getting the characters mixed up or needing reminding of the family connections. I just noticed that the following family tree is on Wikipedia:

Family Tree3

Rushes Bear (Margaret)====Kashpaw
________|_________
| |
Marie Lazarre=.=.= Nector Kashpaw Eli Kashpaw
____________________|_________________ !
| | | | | !
Patsy Eugene Aurelia | Gordie =.=.=June.....................Gerry
Kashpaw Kashpaw Kashpaw | Kashpaw | Morrissey | Nanapush
Zelda | Lipsha Morrissey
Kashpaw |
| King Kashpaw =.=.=Lynette
Albertine Johnson |
King Jr.
Legend3

= = = Traditional Ojibwe Marriage
......... Sexual affair or Liaison
=.=.=. Catholic Marriage
| Children born from the above unions
! Adopted Children

10japaul22
Jun. 14, 2020, 2:11pm

>9 DeltaQueen50: Thank you for this! I finished today and also liked it, though not quite as much as you did. While in some ways I liked how the chapters/stories cycled through time and revealed different perspectives with each, I also thought it made it a little choppy. Somewhere between short stories and a novel and not being able to define it bothered me. I expect for some people that will be the charm of the book, but for me it was a little distracting.

Still, beautiful writing and an important look at life on an American Indian reservation in the 1940s-80s.