Years ago I read Louise Erdrich’s award winning novel, Love Medicine, and although I appreciated her literary talents, her depiction of Native American life in my home state, North Dakota, was depressing. For that reason I have been reluctant to read any more of her novels.
But then I heard about this one. In The Master Butcher’s Singing Club, Erdrich focuses on a German immigrant (based loosely on her grandfather), who arrives in North Dakota early in the 20th century to establish himself as a butcher in the small town of Argus. I greatly enjoyed Erdrich’s storytelling here – especially her portrayal of small town life nearly 100 years ago. There are so many wonderful elements here – from the stoic nature of Fidelis Waldvogel, the characters of his wife and sister, the curiosities and mysteries that inhabit their little town, and the quiet, natural love that grows out of friendship and necessity. Loved it!
4 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2005