Demisty Bellinger's Reviews > The Beet Queen

The Beet Queen by Louise Erdrich
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Apr 05, 12

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The novel begins in first person with Mary Adare narrating. She and her brother Karl, both fathered by a man married to another woman, were abandoned by their mother. Mary is astute enough to pawn her mother’s most prized and expensive belongings. She and Karl hop the trains to stay with their aunt, who is more successful than Mary’s mother.

What is fun about this book is the narration changes, from first person to third, from Mary’s to Karl’s to others’ point-of-view. Louise Erdrich makes it work, for the most part, even if some of the voices, like that of Dot, a teenager who is a bully, are a little contrived. What else is fun is Karl’s sex life. It works here that he is homosexual—I believe it. It works, too, that he falls madly in love with Celestine, a self-made woman who is large and masculine, and not because she is masculine! And it works, too, that she falls in love with him.

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