The Beet Queen
3 journalers for this copy...
1998 Harper Flamingo trade paperback of the 1986 NYT Bestseller second novel by the part Ojibwa Native American author. Cover art, diffferent from the icon attached to this same ISBN, is by Joe Geshick, also an Ojibwa. This was on my list of past bestsellers to read, when I entered it last week as an alternate selection for a RABCK. I was delighted to receive it in addition to my main choice!
I can let this go after I read:
1984 Love Medicine [read 2010]
Reserved for linguistkris who will be in need of commute reading material after arriving in San Francisco from Austria come September.
Edit October 6, 2010: This turned out to be a sort of sideways sequel to the prior book. Well done, but a bit unexciting. Beyond the first few chapters, not much really happens over the lives of these characters as they age. Like the prior book, we see the various family members in widely spaced snippets throughout throughout their lives, from each of their varying points of view at different points.
This is the story of Argus, a small North Dakota town that will eventually rise to prosperity and relative fame with the sugar beet, told from the points of view of town's butcher's extended family. Attentive readers will also catch a few references to people and events from Love Medicine, but this is a stand-alone book that you don't have to have read any other Erdrichs for.
What I loved best were the distinct tones for each narrator, which again feel extremely authentic, and the perceptive and finely detailled depictions of small-town live and (no matter how dysfuntional) family interactions. I wonder how much research went into this, but Erdrich's vision of Depression era rural America felt extremely realistic to me, almost magical elements like the pilot Omar included.
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
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