PDF/EPUB The Beet ueen PDF Ã The Beet PDF/EPUB or â memovende.co â

Now from the award winning author of Love Medicine comes a vibrant tale of abandonment and sexual obsession jealousy and unstinting love On a spring morning in 1932 young Karl and Mary Adare arrive by boxcar in Argus North Dakota Orphaned in a most peculiar way Karl and Mary look for refuge to their mother's sister Fritzie who with her husband Pete runs a butcher shop So begins an exhilerating 40 year saga brimming with unforgettable characters Ordinary Mary who causes a miracle; seductive Karl who lacks Mary's gift for survival; Sita their lovely disturbed ambitious cousin; Wallace Pfef a town leader bearing a lonely secret; Celestine James a mixed blood Chippewa; and her daughter Dot Theirs is a story grounded in the tenacity of relationships the magic of natural events and the unending mystery of the human condition


10 thoughts on “The Beet ueen

  1. says:

    I was looking forward to reading this novel for some time I read LaRose and thought it uite good very realistic and a story that left you thinking about some important human issues But for me this story started off well and then deteriorated as it went along I am all for uirky characters but this novel is nothing but uirky characters Not a single person here that I could truly connect with; not a moment in which I wanted to nod my head and say “yes that is a situation or reaction I can relate to” I neither liked nor disliked these people and that leaves one dissatisfiedRight to the end I kept looking for something I could hold onto as a theme a current that might run between these characters but speak to us all They were all isolated for different but largely self imposed reasons They all seemed terribly self centered except for Celestine but then open only in regard to her daughter Dot If there is anything that stuck out to me it was that human contact for them seemed to be rooted only in sex There is seldom a mention of any touching outside of that Their relationships are as disingenuous as they can possibly beabout proximity and circumstance than feeling or connectionI can imagine that others might see something here that I do not I understand the book contains characters brought over from Love Medicine I wonder if it would have struck a different chord if I had read that book first I still have The Round House on my shelf and will still plan to read it It contains characters that were carried forward into LaRose so I seem to be reading these books out of seuence I have hopes to be brought back to Erdrich but if this had been my first of her novels I think I would have said she is not for me


  2. says:

    From as early as middle school I shared library books with my mother There might have been a forerunner to a young adult section at our library but I felt most comfortable reading the leading authors of the generation who are still prominent today Other than an occasional foray to teenaged themed books I read through Allende Alvarez Tan and Erdrich Louise Erdrich today is considered the leading writer on Native American issues having inspired new generations of Native writers Her writing is complex and woven in a web of characters and themes and looking back I do not know how my still developing mind could grasp the prose Over the last few years I have made it a goal to revisit the books I read as a teen when I did not yet have the life experience to appreciate the all the books that my comprehension level said I could handle A few years ago I got to Love Medicine Erdrich’s debut that introduced her web of Native characters to the world; I craved and one far fetched early title stood out The Beet ueen In a summer scrabble challenge I needed a book with the letter which brought me back to Erdrich’s deftly woven world of Native cultures It is 1932 Adelaide Adare is a single mother who has fought off mental health issues for her entire adult life without knowing them Now in the early throws of the Great Depression she finds herself pregnant for a third time and impoverished pawning off her beloved jewelry in order for her two children Karl and Mary to have the minimal bread and milk; yet this is not enough and Adelaide looks for a means to escape the grim realities of life Even though she is hardly a likable character in a year where I have craved escapist fiction I can sympathize with her need to get away although not permanently This is exactly what Adelaide does at a fair for orphans run by a Minneapolis Catholic organization Adelaide hops in a propeller plane and flies off with the pilot starting a new life Her baby is adopted by one of the church families and is discussed in passing and Karl and Mary hop on a freight train headed toward Argus North Dakota to live with Adelaide’s sister Fritzie and her family Even as a teenager Karl could not handle stress and after a struggle returned to the box car and a tortuous life in Minneapolis Mary arrived at the home of her aunt Fritzie and would remain in Argus for the rest of her life Whereas Love Medicine centers on the Native American Kapshaw family the Beet ueen takes readers to small town North Dakota home of Eastern European immigrants Fritzie married Pete Kozka and ran Kozka’s Meats One could see that Fritzie and Adelaide did not see eye to eye and were not close as siblings so when Mary arrived and told Fritzie her sob story the Kozkas raised her as their own This did not sit well with their daughter Sita one year older than Mary and the two developed an intense sibling rivalry that would last for the rest of their lives In Sita’s eyes this rivalry stemmed from the first summer that Mary lived in her home when she “stole” her best friend Celestine as her own The one lead Native character in the Beet ueen Celestine asks Mary if her parents are dead Mary answers affirmatively and Celestine responds that hers are as well setting up an unbreakable bond between the two that will take them through the peaks and valleys of their lives Sita would never forgive Mary for taking her friend as her own and the triangle between the three women and their subseuent life choices forms the bulk of the novel In a small town like Argus even if these women did not get along well they were each other’s peer group and would have to put up with each other’s uirks throughout their lives By the 1950s doctors have told Fritzie to move south for her health She and Pete relocate to Arizona leaving Kozka’s Meats to Mary who craved stability Sita wanted to be a fashion model and relocated to Fargo as soon as possible Mary changes the name of her butcher shop to House of Meats and hires Celestine to run it with her as neither received an education past high school and no opportunities were available to them as an orphan and Native woman in 1950s America Erdrich implies this as the Beet ueen is not Native centric; yet if Celestine refers to her extended Kapshaw family she notes that they live on the reservation Other than her brother Russell the war hero Mary is all she has Sadly neither woman appreciates the depth of their shared sisterhood relationship until they approach middle age and have half of their lives in the past A writer as adept as Erdrich can make one look past the uirks and unlikeable traits of her characters however The story revolves around them and one can not help but hope that their lives eventually get better This is middle America in the 1950s Mary and Celestine realize that Argus is their lives The male characters in this novel are for the most part as strange as the women Karl resurfaces as a traveling salesmen Inheriting Adelaide’s mental health issues he can not relate to other people; yet he is determined to forge a working relationship with Mary even though she is not interested in knowing her brother as it is a painful reminder of her past In one of his forays into Argus Karl woos Celestine causing friction between everyone Celestine tells him to leave as she realizes he is nothing but trouble but not before she is pregnant by him setting up another cycle of single motherhood and a child being raised by a network of friends something that might have been common in the Chippewa community at the time but was rare for Caucasians during the 1950s Without Karl the baby would need a “male sponsor” and Celestine found one in her neighbor the uirkier Wallace Pfef Argus’ lead businessman Wallace with his ideas to modernize Argus is the one almost likable character in the novel if it were not for idiosyncrasies He fits Celestine’s needs and she gives the baby Wallacette Darlene who Mary uickly gives the nickname Dot In a small town like Argus where the biggest thing is Wallace’s crazy ideas including sugar beet farming that started around the time of Dot’s birth a girl with the name Wallacette would stand out Dot not so much and like the sugar beets she becomes part of Argus’ patchwork of uirky personalities The web between Mary Celestine Wallace and Karl winds tighter as the four all think they know what is best for young Dot Life in Argus and these complicated relationships move on Erdrich weaves this web with one eye on the future Readers who read Love Medicine know that Dot aka Wallacette reaches adulthood as she is a leading character in the earlier book The Beet ueen was meant as a preuel yet introduced such complex characters to the literary world that I would not mind another book centered in Argus around Mary Celestine Sita and Wallace We all have our faults and uirks which is why I could on some level relate to characters who were not as likable as ones in a warm fuzzy story Warm fuzzy stories are not reality whereas sibling rivalries between the all of the adult characters in this novel as well as wanting the best for the next generation albeit in unconventional ways is It is stories like these that made small town America and the patchwork of people who comprise society Few writers do this better than Louise Erdrich and she is still telling stories of middle America native cultures and Caucasian and the thin line between the two nearly forty years later Revisiting her writing when I can appreciate it has been pleasurable I look forward to continuing the story of Dot and the extended web of Kapshaws in the Bingo Palace 4 stars


  3. says:

    One of Erdrich's best just shy of Plague of Doves and The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse It's remarkable that this is just her second Although still episodic The Beet ueen has a strong narrative flow and a great symmetry to the story that I found most satisfying Other things I loved fabulous uirky characters including three especially strong female characters I'm drawing a blank right now whether we meet Mary Adare anywhere else or Dot I think for sure the latter gorgeous poetic language the most powerful opening chapter I've read in a long time writers take note some gentle magical realism not as much as in her others but there is less spiritualityCatholicism here overall compared to her later works a ton of humour this might be one of her funniest Almost slapstick in places; very physical and dark too I clearly need to go back and read these in the order she wrote themI adore how Erdrich writes these women and men all of whom are misfits socially emotionally and in many ways physically There's a lot of physical disintegration here natural aging as well as bodies beaten up and breaking down minds too A sleeper character is Wallace Pfef understated yet central Wallace is the most gentle and nurturing of all the characters amidst a uiet but distinct physical harshness he view spoilerrescues a stray dog delivers Celestine's baby attends to Karl and hide spoiler


  4. says:

    From the very first page I was reminded why I added all Louise Erdrich's books to my list after reading Love Medicine the characters The people who are fabulous than 'real' the people who Erdrich has not so much created as set in motion and followed perhaps sometimes in horror as they behave in ways we and I suspect she and they did not expect The sheer exhilaration of knowing these people is a tonic to the jaded reader and knowing other people always enables me to know myself here most uncomfortablyFor example the first segments introduce Adelaide and her two children Karl and Mary Mary is a practical person who capably cares for and protects others though she does so automatically and dutifully rather than out of love I immediately sided with Mary against romantic selfish weak spirited Adelaide and Karl but they have an appealing glamour as does Mary Karl's eually selfish cousin Sita and glamour is after all one of the world's leavens I helplessly side with Mary against aesthetic sensibility against soft fragrant blossoms on a fragile branch Even though Mary and shows fallibility makes bad choices and behaves cruelly towards Adelaide acting out of hatred where Adelaide acts out of love my sympathies stay with Mary Karl is pitiful and I can't pity him What is wrong with my empathy? I was able to forgive Adelaide but I could not condemn Mary and Adelaide's sister Fritzie for the vengeful way they treat her both ended up justified in the court of my heartI loved this book but not as much as I loved Love Medicine because although there are some Chippewa people there isn't much readable Indian ness This is of course a racist complaint that belongs to a pattern 'You aren't BlackNative AmericanChineseexotic enough' complains the White over and over again in a gesture that disualifies reexcludes reerases I would like to loudly affirm that I have no right whatsoever to define what is or is not NativeIndianOjibwe in this book or anywhere else However unlike in Love Medicine I was not able to recognise much that did not fit into my view of a mainly White USian small town culture The appeal of this book is as Angela Carter wrote in its insight into 'America' as 'violent passionate and surprising' For me the central butcher's shop is inescapably a site of violence but it tends to function much positively as a node of community where social reproduction and creativity are enacted and Mary and Celestine and Dot are sustained I can't step outside my vegan perspective so for me this works as a microcosm for the survival and intermittent flourishing within and under the aegis of the violent US state and other structures of dominationMy favourite segment is the one where injured dying Karl is rescued by Fleur who heals him totally impersonally without uestion and without tenderness in a characteristically rugged spectacularly visualised dramatisation of the impetus to sustain life built into her consciousness I wanted of Fleur; I hope to meet her again in other books from this cycle The realistically flawed friendship between Mary and Celestine also appealed to me – I liked the suggestion that they were initially drawn to each other by a subtle awareness of shared native blood Mary's trajectory of character develoment was uite surprising to me – her interest in mysticism that seemed to be sparked by the 'miracle' she inadvertantly revealed in her early school days has a bathetic uality because she seems to lack gifts of prophecy entirely It took me a long time and many instances to accept her fallibility and vulnerability which Celestine also takes time to become aware ofThere are so many other interesting characters – Dot who I met and loved as an adult in Love Medicine is here a child and teenager inspiring ambivalent sympathy and exasperation while her namesake Wallace is delicately written his life of wealth and comfort counterpointed by his isolation his capitalist influence on the social structure made less insidious by his vulnerable earnest kind personality and his talent for designing festivity I wanted to spend time with Russell and Eli tooThe most brilliant scene might be Karl's visit to Sita's house where he sinks into the Earth after a discussion of earthworms and an extremely rash accusation by Sita and she is transported into the Book of Revelation her silver jewellery hanging in a tree She addresses her scientist husband obliuely 'You are not in the book you are down there with your specimens' Perhaps she is offering a visionary reading of science and religion enmeshed with their objects This is the best example of the sheer vibrance of Erdrich's style the way she plunges into fantasy like a diver or like a needle threading in and out bringing the familiar into contact with its lost imaginary the way she ploughs up the language throwing out glittering lumps of uncut gems constantly dazzling buzzing with energy The stories amble plod go backwards loop the loop skip over decades linger over some mundanity whose significance is yet unrevealed return and re return defying the line of time my mind is trained to string events on but the prose dashes like a dogsled in fact like St Nicholas pulled by nine galloping reindeer jingling bells lurching implausibly into the sky dripping impossible snow and packages of magic down your chimney making your heart race trampling disbelief


  5. says:

    I'm a book behind on the Erdrich Medicine Readalong but I'm glad to finally finish this one It feels like the entire premise is Meanwhile in the town nearby and details the lives of multiple characters Siblings Mary and Karl are central and Mary's cousin Sita Mary also befriends Celestine whose half brother is a Kashpaw so there are still Kashpaws and Pillagers in the periphery It gives a sense of the North Dakota immigrants mainly from Poland and the businesses and beliefs they bring to this space now shared with the original people living there


  6. says:

    There is no one for creating rich unpredictable maddening hilarious and heartbreaking characters like Louise Erdrich To read her is to study the craft of creating uniue voices each of her characters and there are so very many in The Beet ueen takes three dimensional Technicolor shape in your mind Within The Beet ueen are familiar names and faces such that I encourage any reader to begin with Love Medicine to get the full scope of the Kashpaw history but it's not necessary to wring full satisfaction out of this novel It may seem that three stars is a low rating but I assign this within the context of the other Erdrich novels I have read The Beet ueen didn't elicit the same sense of wonder and depth of emotion as Love Medicine or The Round House and at times I felt a profound weariness Multi generational novels that span decades can lose something to time a sense of immediacy and an over familiarity with the characters' behavior that wears down the edge of the plot Yet to read this is to experience a type of fiction that I see less and less of in contemporary works a depth of character and a slow burn of context that eschews formula and is utterly unselfconscious Powerful


  7. says:

    I loved the first section of The Beet ueen I was intrigued by the characters the situations they found themselves in and their reactions to those situations; I was captivated by the luminous beauty of Erdrich's prose I loved the beginning so much in fact that I figured I couldn't help but love the rest of the book as wellBut I didn't Rather than develop and grow the characters seemed to wizen and warp as they aged Erdrich lavished attention on the minute details of 1960s cooking but as the book progresses there's so little attention to anything that might matter to these characters outside of their bitter ties to one another Their worlds shrink and become too small for things like hope and forgiveness; they interact with such a limited range of people And all those people are so broken that they don't even aspire to happiness They ended up seeming like caricatures of small town misery having grown up in a tiny farming town I know something about that and by the end I just didn't care about them


  8. says:

    My latest read is The Beet ueen by Louise Erdrich a uniue tale and I must honestly say that I'm not sure how I feel about itIt starts out by introducing us to Adelaide a kept woman who has three children to a married man When this man suddenly dies it is a catastrophe for her and one day she abandons her three children in a most unusual and surreal way Those children Karl Mary and a baby boy end up going three separate ways So in the beginning anything can happen to these three children; the future is full of both danger and potential Because of the way they were abandoned I expected the rest of the story to be something akin to a folktale such as Water for Chocolate but I was wrong The story is told by several characters in turn and all of them are people who have made very strange decisions in their lives Actually I felt that both Karl and Mary were released into the world to become blights on other people's lives causing heartbreak jealousy and animosity In the end though that might have been the point relationships are emotional sometimes painfully so but somehow people stick together and live with all the feelings good and bad They also seek out whatever family they have so that they can subject them to these feelings without relenting In fact near the end of this book there's a long suffering dying woman who would really like to not have the company of Mary and Celestine an old friend turned relative and winds up retreating to her late husband's rec room where she starts sleeping on the pool table Now that's a novel idea a bed with pockets in every corner so you don't have to get up for anythingAt the end I thought that maybe Adelaide's granddaughter was going to escape in the same way she did but that's not to be And so it ends on a happy note with at least one person realizing that someone desperately loves herLouise Erdrich has created some mighty interesting characters for this novel and also wrote a few very funny scenes And I kept reading despite the fact that I had no idea where this story was headed Erdrich is a talented writer and I might read some of her other books in the future


  9. says:

    This book was easier to follow than its predecessor Love Medicine Unfortunately it also had an incorrect family tree It drove me battyAccording to this one there's a Montana Kashpaw brother of Eli Eli is in Love Medicine along with his brother not Montana so where did he come from? Then Russell is mentioned as a half brother to Eli but according to the family tree he's the son of Montana I depended heavily on the family tree in Love Medicine so I kept going back to it here and trying to understand I just drove myself crazy insteadThis story takes place alongside the events of Love Medicine Some of the characters are the same and all of the families from Love Medicine are in here It is different family members though so I don't know that it's necessary to know the prior story It gives some added depth to the world but not to the story itselfThe story starts in 1923 when Mary and Karl Adare's mother abandons them and sails off into the sunset Mary and Karl jump a train to head to their aunt's house They're separated from there but they both end up being POV characters The POV characters are Mary Karl Sita Celestine and Wallace in first person with occasional bits told in third person of other characters or locations I liked this story than Love Medicine because it was cohesive and linear It was also a very interesting story It had very human characters and I can honestly say I didn't like any of them except maybe Wallace but that was partially because they were human rather than goodbadIt also had one of the funniest scenes I've ever read in my life


  10. says:

    This is of a confession about my neglect than a review of the novel When Erdrich burst on the broad stage of acclaimed writers back in the 1980's with her Love Medicine I sidestepped and have done so ever since then Published in 1986 The Beet ueen contains flashes of brilliance and attempts at it My problem was that I could not see the purpose for the multi narrative structure Time leaps narrator shifts functioned for their own sake than for deepening the story or working to suppress surprise However on the other side of my narrow assessment is Erdrich's gymnastic writing and detailed character creations These are genius But in my thick head I did not grasp Erdrich's dark satiric tone until the last 60 pages Duh However there is no doubt about these female protagonists' strengths that are tested by men money business fashion community and changing times Mary Celestine Sita and Dot survive and to some degree thrive even while dead in Sita's case A patrolman and an old beau are drawn to her even though she's a corpse sitting upright in a pickup truck And Erdrich avoids naming anyone's race until in the final pages where she states that Celestine as an Indian a six footer As a result we readers can only use our own small town stereotypes as references But these main characters are drawn so finely that they defy typingA final confession it took me about a month to read Beet ueen primarily due to the lack of a compelling narrative line For me there was no hook mostly a series of narrators that congealed in the last few pages Sorry Louise I'll try harder next time