Literary Award Winners Fiction Book Club discussion

Love Medicine (Love Medicine, #1)
This topic is about Love Medicine
Past Reads > Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich, pages 130 to end

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George (georgejazz) | 455 comments Mod
Please comment here on Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich, pages 130 to the end.

Mary (maryingilbert) | 67 comments Finished the book! I did not enjoy the book and skimmed the last 25% of the novel.

Carol (caroltw) I'm still reading. Now that I know who's who & I'm more accustomed to the narrative style, I'm able to pay more attention to the writing style.

Irene | 522 comments Finished this one yesterday and loved it. I am partial to the short story format and fond of the interlocking short story as novel. I loved the way Erdrich crafted her characters, even more so, the way she depicted the interactions and the complexity of relationships. Despite the very real pain in these two families, there is a fierce loyalty. The internal struggles each character faces is palpable. Erdrich does not over explain. She simply lets us observe and draw our own conclusions. I see why this one is a prize winner.

Carol (caroltw) I've finally finished. With a 2 week hiking vacation in the middle, I'm so late! I have come to appreciate the narrative style. This is the first novel I've read through interlocking short stories. I would be interested in learning titles of more of this type, if anyone has any to recommend?

George (georgejazz) | 455 comments Mod
The following are novels tend to follow the Love Medicine formatt of connecting short stories. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout is loosely about an old woman, Olive Kitteridge, but it is more about the people of the small Maine town she lives in. Highly recommended. Glorious Heresies by Lisa McInerney. It's about six years in the life of Ryan Cusack, from the age of 15 to 20, set in Ireland in the 2000s. Interesting plot with the story told from different characters perspectives. Winesburg, Ohio (1919) by Sherwood Anderson, a cycle of short stories concerning life in a small town at the end of the nineteenth century. The Spinning Heart by Donal Ryan (2012) which is quite powerful with a large number of character studies (21) where the characters are connected to each other in some way. Only 150 or so pages and well told. It won the Irish Book Awards Prize in 2012. Even The Green Road by Anne Enright is really a set of short stories of various members of a family. I really enjoyed reading all these books. I am generally not a short story reader as I tend to forget the short stories fairly quickly but in the format of the above and like Love Medicine, I find it a lot easier to remember the characters and what the book was about.

How did you find Love Medicine? What did you like best about the novel?

Irene | 522 comments I second the recommendation of Olive Kitteridge and Winesburg Ohio, especially Olive Kitteridge. I would add The Tzar of Love and Techno by Anthony Marra to that list set mostly in Siberia, and are each connected to the next by a character or location, brilliant writing.

I am going to look for the Spinning Heart.

George (georgejazz) | 455 comments Mod
Thanks for the Anthony Marra tip. I hadn't heard of him but from what I have just read on Goodreads about The Tzar of Love and Techno and A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, I will definitely aim to an Anthony Marra book, preferably the Tzar as I do like the short stories in a novel style.

Irene | 522 comments Both are outstanding, but both deal with difficult themes. I personally enjoyed The Tsar best, but I am not sure if it is because I am partial to the short story or because it was my first encounter with Marra which stunned me with his writing.

Carol (caroltw) Thanks, both, for the titles! George, I suppose I liked the circularity (a word?)

Carol (caroltw) Sorry - got interrupted yesterday! Circularity of life is what I was trying to express. I was also drawn to the nonlinear plot line, which afforded layers & layers of character complexity. Well worth the work (on my part) to stick with this book. Sure would like to read it again with uninterrupted chunks of reading time!

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