A powerful new novel of from one of America's most important and entertaining writers In 1918, Fidelis walks home from the Great War to a Germany broken and defeated. He finds himself inexplicably drawn to the fiancee of his dead best friend and they marry but, knowing he cannot make his fortune here, Fidelis heads for America. When he leaves, ...
A powerful new novel of from one of America's most important and entertaining writers In 1918, Fidelis walks home from the Great War to a Germany broken and defeated. He finds himself inexplicably drawn to the fiancee of his dead best friend and they marry but, knowing he cannot make his fortune here, Fidelis heads for America. When he leaves, 'The inside pockets of his father's suit held all he needed.' He leaves behind his family of master butchers, but not the skills he has learned from them and in America his sausages gradually become legendary...Moving to small-town America, he is soon joined by his wife and son, opens a deli and life seems to be perfect. But there are always the locals to contend with and when they meet Delphine and Cyprian, two eccentric travelling circus performers, things begin to get interesting. There is the problem of the unresolved dead bodies discovered rotting in the basement of Delphine's father's house, for one. And then there is the rivalry over the local singing groups -- will Fidelis be able to prove his superiority? Spanning two continents, this epic look at post-war immigrants' America is Louise Erdrich at her engrossing best. Warm, human, funny, deeply sad Erdrich's cast of oddball characters are infinitely loveable. The Master Butchers Singing Club will delight the legions of existing Erdrich fans but is also sure to amaze and entrance those coming to her work for the first time.
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If you are from Minnesota or the Dakotas you may find it interesting because of the local upper midwest context and its view of early settlers point of view and because it is a Minnesota author.
Jun 15, 2009
Really liked it!
I really liked this beautifully written book. It had great characters that made the story seem very realistic.
Jan 22, 2008
I absolutely loved this book and found it to be almost impossible to put down. The characters are richly drawn and played upon their stage. The pages turn fast when reading this novel. Delphine was my favorite character along with Markus. Their interaction was as if they really were mother and son. Fidelis was a bit one dimensional but overall interesting. This story itself conveyed to me the starkness of it's time setting and gave a good look at North Dakota from a different angle than is normally given for this state. This book gives an accurate description of the kind of people who came and settled this land and persevered. The story very much interested me and I have recommended it to several friends who I know will enjoy it as much as I did. Ms. Erdrich is a very talented writer and I intend to read more of her books.
Oct 25, 2007
Enjoyed the ride
I read this as one of my book club's selections, otherwise I would probably never have picked up this title to read. I enjoyed the colorful, diverse cast of characters, was at times surprised by events and situations, intrigued by the proseful descriptions, but went willingly along for the ride. Some in book club faulted the author for the easy acceptance of delphine by eva and their instant bond, but having made instant connections in life myself, i found their relationship believable. others found fault in the fact the master butcher's singing club really had nothing to do with the plot. this is true, a waste of a good title! a good read, not a great book, with some loose ends loosely tied in the end.
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