The Beet Queen

The Beet Queen On a spring morning in young Karl and Mary Adare arrive by boxcar in Argus North Dakota After being orphaned in a most peculiar way they seek refuge in the butcher shop of their aunt and her h

  • Title: The Beet Queen
  • Author: Louise Erdrich
  • ISBN: 9780060835279
  • Page: 493
  • Format: Paperback
  • On a spring morning in 1932, young Karl and Mary Adare arrive by boxcar in Argus, North Dakota After being orphaned in a most peculiar way, they seek refuge in the butcher shop of their aunt and her husband So begins an exhilarating forty year saga brimming with colorful, unforgettable characters ordinary Mary, who will cause a miracle seductive Karl, who lacks his sisOn a spring morning in 1932, young Karl and Mary Adare arrive by boxcar in Argus, North Dakota After being orphaned in a most peculiar way, they seek refuge in the butcher shop of their aunt and her husband So begins an exhilarating forty year saga brimming with colorful, unforgettable characters ordinary Mary, who will cause a miracle seductive Karl, who lacks his sister s gift for survival Sita, their lovely but disturbed cousin and the half Native American Celestine James, who will become Mary s best friend Theirs is a story grounded in the tenacity of relationships, the extraordinary magic of natural events, and the unending mystery of the human condition.Bestselling, National Book Award winning author Louise Erdrich dazzles in this vibrant and heartfelt tale of abandonment and sexual obsession, jealousy and unstinting love that explores with empathy, humor, and power the eternal mystery of the human condition.

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    About “Louise Erdrich

    • Louise Erdrich

      Karen Louise Erdrich is a American author of novels, poetry, and children s books Her father is German American and mother is half Ojibwe and half French American She is an enrolled member of the Anishinaabe nation also known as Chippewa She is widely acclaimed as one of the most significant Native writers of the second wave of what critic Kenneth Lincoln has called the Native American Renaissance.For information, please see answers topic louise eFrom a book description Author Biography Louise Erdrich is one of the most gifted, prolific, and challenging of contemporary Native American novelists Born in 1954 in Little Falls, Minnesota, she grew up mostly in Wahpeton, North Dakota, where her parents taught at Bureau of Indian Affairs schools Her fiction reflects aspects of her mixed heritage German through her father, and French and Ojibwa through her mother She worked at various jobs, such as hoeing sugar beets, farm work, waitressing, short order cooking, lifeguarding, and construction work, before becoming a writer She attended the Johns Hopkins creative writing program and received fellowships at the McDowell Colony and the Yaddo Colony After she was named writer in residence at Dartmouth, she married professor Michael Dorris and raised several children, some of them adopted She and Michael became a picture book husband and wife writing team, though they wrote only one truly collaborative novel, The Crown of Columbus 1991.The Antelope Wife was published in 1998, not long after her separation from Michael and his subsequent suicide Some reviewers believed they saw in The Antelope Wife the anguish Erdrich must have felt as her marriage crumbled, but she has stated that she is unconscious of having mirrored any real life events.She is the author of four previous bestselling andaward winning novels, including Love Medicine The Beet Queen Tracks and The Bingo Palace She also has written two collections of poetry, Jacklight, and Baptism of Desire Her fiction has been honored by the National Book Critics Circle 1984 and The Los Angeles Times 1985 , and has been translated into fourteen languages Several of her short stories have been selected for O Henry awards and for inclusion in the annual Best American Short Story anthologies The Blue Jay s Dance, a memoir of motherhood, was her first nonfiction work, and her children s book, Grandmother s Pigeon, has been published by Hyperion Press She lives in Minnesota with her children, who help her run a small independent bookstore called The Birchbark.

    235 thoughts on “The Beet Queen

    • I was looking forward to reading this novel for some time I read LaRose, and thought it quite 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 quirky characters, but this novel is nothing but quirky 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 r [...]

    • 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 Queen has a strong narrative flow and a great symmetry to the story that I found most satisfying Other things I loved fabulous, quirky 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, [...]

    • 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 un [...]

    • 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 unique voices each of her characters, and there are so very many in The Beet Queen takes three dimensional, Technicolor shape in your mind Within The Beet Queen 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 [...]

    • This book was easier to follow than its predecessor, Love Medicine Unfortunately it also had an incorrect family tree It drove me batty.According 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 unde [...]

    • My latest read is The Beet Queen, by Louise Erdrich, a unique tale, and I must honestly say that I m not sure how I feel about it.It 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 c [...]

    • 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 Queen 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 surp [...]

    • North Dakota sets the stage for the story of Mary Adare and her friends and family When she and her brothers are still young, they are abandoned by their mother at a fair Mary s infant brother is snatched from them at the fair Left with nothing, Mary and Karl hop on a train and set off for Argus, the hometown of Aunt Fritzie and Uncle Pete and their daughter, Sita Mary stays in Argus and grows up in her aunt s house Karl heads off for unknown parts Immediately, a rivalry between Mary and Sita is [...]

    • I loved the first section of The Beet Queen 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 well.But 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 th [...]

    • Sin duda alguna, La Reina de la Remolacha tiene uno de los arranques m s sombr os que recuerdo haber le do en mucho tiempo En tan solo una decena de p ginas, un hombre muere asfixiado como resultado de un accidente laboral, tres hermanos son abandonados por su madre que se da a la fuga con un acr bata a reo mientras realiza uno de sus espect culos itinerantes , un beb es robado y un chico de catorce a os mantiene relaciones sexuales con un desconocido en un vag n de tren Nuestros comienzos ciert [...]

    • It s hard to describe how I really feel about Louise Erdrich s The Beet Queen I knew when Erdrich included a family tree in the beginning of the novel, that it was going to be intense That s what The Beet Queen was intense, unfortunate, and heartbreaking The Beet Queen tells different narratives from different point of views during 1932 1971 in North Dakota Mary and Karl Adare are abandoned by their free spirited mother, Adelaide, and their baby brother is stolen during a fair.They get on a boxc [...]

    • The Beet Queen confirmed my observation that, in some respects, Louise Erdrich is the Flannery O Connor of Native American literature Flannery O Connor s Gothic Southern characters and settings revealed life s often dark and grotesque underbelly Louise Erdrich does much the same with her Native American characters often born in disadvantaged conditions because the dominant culture has taken their land, the lumber and other resources from the land, leaving them with scraps Except for a few rare c [...]

    • Recently I read Plague of Doves by Loise Erdrich her latest novel, click on title for review Although I enjoyed that book, I liked this The set up was similar, each chapter from a different character, however, the characters were select and the time frame was always forward moving Moving from character to character was seamless Although I frequently like this rotating perspective, many writers do not have the skillz to carry it off Often the pass from one viewpoint to another is awkward or con [...]

    • After the opening of this novel appeared on this year s AP exam, my students wanted to know what it was about, so we looked at the summary on and also at the one star reviews At that point, based on the very odd sounding plot, they challenged me to read the book I ve now completed that challenge, and I have to admit it was a bit of a challenge, as this is an odd novel, full of difficult to like characters and strange plot twists Not the weirdest or the worst book I ve ever read but not one I m g [...]

    • Not a sympathic character in the whole book, it s like driving by an accident you can t help but look You finish reading because the old gossip inside you won t let you quit, but when you re finished, you think why d I read that book anyway More of character sketches in a setting, full of horrible people you don t want to know, it remains masterfully written.

    • The Beet Queen is an eloquent and honest portrayal of the awkwardness of our closest relationships and childhood The story centers around two families, linked through the friendship of Sita, then Mary to Celestine It is told through the lenses of the three girls, Mary s brother Karl, Celestine s brother Russell, and one or two friends of their family The Beet Queen begins in the quasi magical perspective of a child, with Mary and Karl s mother abandoning them at a fair Their paths diverge Mary t [...]

    • Like Love Medicine, many parts of this second book were published individually as short stories However, it s a much cohesive story than Love Medicine, and I think the whole work really benefits as a result Yet, it still holds onto some of the advantages of short stories a number of the chapters particularly the early ones have real kick to them But everything also continually builds on itself.The structure of the story is also entirely intriguing, as it spirals through numerous characters, som [...]

    • I really enjoyed this book It was a bit hard to get into, because I had been reading a very different kind of book before this This is a NOVEL, a great American novel, with rich characters that get stuck with you and that make you think about the kind of person you are and the kind of choices you make and how you act towards other people This is the kind of book that makes me want to write a novel I love Native American themes, characters, and plots I feel it is such a big part of the American n [...]

    • I did not enjoy this book I liked the setting, but that was about it I never found myself caring about any of the characters or the plot.

    • The Beet Queen was a good book i liked how the author made the chapters the view of the characters And how it all started the beginning of the book to the end was amazing I suggest reading it.

    • Louise Erdrich is an amazing writer, and one of her strengths is creating a setting and placing characters within it that seem incredibly human Each character is distinct and lively, with enough time for each character to feel as though you know them and understand them No character is completely reviled or loved Each has their faults and their assets, and in the end they become very dear This is the second book written in the style of an extended network of relations and families, the first bei [...]

    • Being a North Dakota lad, I ve always been pleased with the national stature obtained by Louise Erdrich Her first novels, including or starting with the Beet Queen, and Love Medicine, came out in the 70s when I was in college, and I didn t have the time to take them on then with what was required of my classwork.Later, when living in Minneapolis in the 80s and 90s, I read a lot of her work from that period, when she was married to Michael Dorris and before his tragic suicide This included their [...]

    • I liked this much better than Love Medicine so think of this as a 3.5 star review The Beet Queen is located in something like the same physical space as Love Medicine, but instead of standing on the rez looking out, we re standing in the nearby town, occasionally looking in There are a handful of overlapping characters, but what makes this book so fresh and alive is that the perspective of the book is so very different from the last We get a sense of the hostility between town and reservation, b [...]

    • This book is a bit strange Weird even Different Yet I couldn t put it down And I m glad that I did read it Why so different The style maybe The characters most likely A strange group of characters make up this story Mary, Celestine, Sita, Karl, Wallace, and Dot Dysfunctional yes A family of offbeat characters eccentric, different, emotional, loving but not loving, caring but not caring The story takes place in small town Argus, North Dakota, home of agriculture and not a whole lot else The chara [...]

    • Neve wed mom Adelaide Adare and her three children, twelve year old Karl, ten year old Mary, and infant who is later named Jude attend a fair in Minneapolis Mom abandons the children to run away with a barnstorming pilot When Jude gets hungry and begins to cry, a man takes the child, promising to feed him and bring him back He never does, he s kidnapped the baby to assuage the grief of his wife, whose own baby died a birthing Karl and Mary hop a train to Argus, North Dakota, where their aunt and [...]

    • Although there was nothing innately wrong with this book It was well written and the character development was OK, it just didn t keep my attention It is a story of a boy and a girl who are abandoned by their mother and travel by boxcar to live with their Aunt and Uncle The story tells the story of not only those two but of the family and friends that they meet in the small city in North Dakota.The book started slowly but I was determined to continue and it did improve as Louise Erdrich explaine [...]

    • I have been rereading louise erdricks books, and in this, her second, she really starts to show the amazing quality of her storytelling two young orphans find their way to their aunt and uncle in north dakota, and even before they reach the door of the butcher shop their lives diverge and they go on to face their fates alone the story is told by different characters in different times, from their own unique perspectives, and they all join to make this an incredible reading experience all the cha [...]

    • I m glad I read Love Medicine first, because I think it allowed me to appreciate this book much deeply than I would if I hadn t already fallen in love with Erdrich s writing and the world she has created and, as always, it is so evocative of familiar landscapes I ve loved and places that have shaped me Reading a book like this, along with books like Love Medicine and The Last Report of the Miracle at Little No Horse make me understand why she is so often compared to Faulkner There is some reall [...]

    • I was pretty into this book, and really enjoyed the interplay between the excellent female characters Sadly, my enjoyment of the book was marred by one major point I wanted from the ending of this book To me it felt like just as it was beginning to come full circle a few final pages tie the ending up quickly and quietly without really closing the story out in a satisfying way I realize that this is only one of several loosely connected books about some of the same characters but eh

    • this is the second Erdrich book in a month and I am sold I don t know why I avoided her before This book recounts the lives of a brother and sister who are abandoned by their mother and head o ut on their own to live with an aunt and uncle in Argus, ND the location of teh last book I read, but written earlier in her career The story is told from multiple points of view the brother and sister and a number of people who come in to their lives and is episodic than unified But the writing and chara [...]

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