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The Beet Queen (P.S.)

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.
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The power and virtuosity of Love Medicine ( LJ 10/1/84) are again evident in Erdrich's second, more ambitious novel. Its action spans 40 years, starting in 1932, when three fatherless children are abandoned by their mother as well. Eleven-year-old Mary seeks haven for the family with Aunt Fritzie Kozka; but the baby is kidnapped; 14-year-old Karl, a drifter and dreamer, lights off alone; and only practical, hardheaded Mary takes root. Bizarre coincidences, taut blood tangles, and surreal fantasies challenge the ordinary as relationships bloom and wilt, including one between homosexual Karl, who moves in and out of the action, and Mary's best friend, with whom he fathers a child. At times the shifting voices strain continuity, yet Erdrich's brilliance is such that we believe deeply in her people, are dazzled by her words. An engrossing and breathtaking novel. Elise Chase, Forbes Lib., Northampton, Mass.

"A remarkable and luminous novel."-- Michiko Kakutani, "New York Times"Captivating."-- "Washington Post Book World"A book of power and precision....[Louise Erdrich's] two books together provoke in me amazement and gratitude at this splendid, feisty talent."-- Robert Bly, "New York Times Book Review"Written with extraordinary power, compassion, and insight into the human heart....Erdrich has vaulted into the front ranks of American literature."-- Dan Cryer, "Newsday"The dialogue is brilliant from start to finish. And MAry, Karl, Selestine, Sita, and Dot are all original and powerful characters who, like their relatives in "Love Medicine, left me exhilarated, somewhat drained, and very grateful to this immensely gifted novelist for -- "Chicago Sun-Times"She is a luminous writer and has produced a novel rich in movement, beauty, event. Her prose spins and sparkles, and dances right on the heart when it needs to."-- "Los Angeles Times

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