S. Collingwood's Reviews > Love Medicine

Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich
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U_50x66
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Nov 04, 10


This book is the story of a group of Anishinabe people in North Dakota. The story emerges from the voices of three generations of people living on the reserve. Some are Chippewa, some are white. All of them have problems. This is one of the best books I've read about cultural conflicts for Native people, but it's not preachy. It just tells it like it is.

There are a lot of sad things that happen in this book, but it's also quite funny. Sometimes it's both. An example of this is the road accident that one of the characters causes through his alcoholism. On one hand, it's a comic story of a drunken Indian who doesn't know what to do with a dead deer. On the other hand, it's a tragedy of epic proportions, not only for the driver, but for his people as a whole. The reader is invited to see that both interpretations are true.

What I particularly enjoyed about the book was its narrative style. People's stories allow us to see events from different perspectives; sometimes the stories even contradict each other. Making comparisons between characters and events helps you to see the symmetry of the story, which is too involved for me to even begin to describe.
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