This is a really odd book. I went from being bored to the point of putting it down, to leaning forward in my chair with anticipation. I'm glad a hung with it. I love her words and her style and she does a good job of telling a story from a man's point of view, but some of the scenarios in this book are just kind of out in left field! I thought of John Irving more than once as her characters found themselves in bizarre and embarrassing situations. Overall I would say that it was a good book, but The Master Butcher's Singing Club is still hands down my favorite by Louise Erdrich!
Reading a book by Erdrich is like meeting up with an old friend, many of the characters in her books have appeared in previous stories. This book is a bit different from Erdrich's earlier writing because it does not make use of the American Indian history that is the usual theme of her stories. It is still a good read and can be enjoyed without having read the earlier books. But it does help the plot if you have read them.
From Library Journal
Erdrich's rich, lapidary new novel opens with Jack Mauser drinking himself silly with a young pick-up, who subsequently freezes to death in her thin shoes in a North Dakota blizzard. Jack would certainly seem to be a loser, and someone any sane woman would stay away from, but this isn't a novel about him. It's a novel about his many wives, who come together at his funeral sometime later and get stuck in another blizzard, which gives them the opportunity to open up about their deepest secrets. Since this is Erdrich (The Beet Queen, LJ 8/86) writing, these women are predictably passionate, quirky, and, well, unpredictable, ranging from solid Dot (who married Jack on a dare and has another husband in jail), utterly seductive Eleanor, brisk Candace, and childlike Marlis. The plot may sound a bit formulaic, but the effect is anything but. Erdrich sometimes pushes her sensuous descriptions over the top, and the effect is near-parody. But the result will entertain readers everywhere. For most collections.?Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Not one of my favorites of her books.
This is a good collection of short stories. Though they are a little twisted.
Although at first glance the story might seem a little unbelievable (four exwives are stranded in a blizzard after attending the funeral of their ex-husband who turns out not to be dead)the plot device works quite well because Louise Erdrich is such a masterful writer. Her characters make the book come to life because of their defects and flaws but most of all because of their passions and vulnerabilities that lie at the heart of each of the tales of burning love they tell each other to keep from freezing to death.
This was a pretty good book. I enjoyed the writing - as well as the ridiculous situation that brings four ex-wives of the same man together. The identity of the hitchhiker was even a surprise to me. All in all, it was certainly strange, but I certainly enjoyed reading it. I liked the way the women's different stories came through their P.O.V.s.
Excellent gripping well-woven On going lives of Love medicine chracters.