Meredith's Challenge 2.0

52 books, one year. Stay tuned for more details.

Monday, April 17, 2006

2.13 The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich

This novel is ridiculously gorgeous. The prose is so finely crafted, it made me stop and re-read a few passages. Such a pleasure to read. I was sad to finish it.

Master follows the story of two families, one made from German immigrants and the other a daughter, her alcoholic father and her pseudo-husband, all living in the same small town in North Dakota. Their relationships feel real, and had me sucking in my breath, trying to avoid tears more than once. I gobbled this one up, on the train, in my old bedroom, at the hospital. I wish that I could learn to savor my literature but I'm always going through it at a break-neck pace to find out what happens and then I'm disappointed when I get to the end. The last chapter felt like is was tacked on slightly, but at the same time it belonged, perhaps in a different form. Erdrich wrote about Argus in her novel Tracks, but she has a much tighter focus on it this time around. I wasn't too interested in Tracks when I first read it, but now I want to go through it again to see if I missed something. I seem to remember one of the characters in Master doing something pretty horrible to someone in Tracks. I actually want to read Erdrich's whole body of work now.

I keep meaning to say something brilliant in these posts and falling very short. This book is amazing, you should read it.


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