Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Master Butchers Singing Club

The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich

The Master Butchers Singing Club draws you into the story with its unique title and keeps you reading because of the emotion packed mysteries that unfold throughout the story.  This story is like peeling back the layers of an onion, you may cry a bit, bleed a little, smile sometimes, all while you taste the flavor of comedy meets tragedy.  Each layer of the onion, like the layers in the story are related and intertwined.  Truly this story of Fidelis Waldvogel, a WW1 vet from Germany who immigrates to North Dakota and becomes the town butcher will really get under your skin. Delphine Watzka is the daughter of the local town drunk and she becomes best friends with the Butcher's wife.  Delphine and Fidelis's destinies are immediately affected by the sands of time. And yes, there is a singing club in the book that includes two butchers and several other men.

Louise Erdrich is an excellent storyteller.  Her stories interweave and mingle with each other and each book contains strong, memorable characters.  If you haven't read a book by Louise Erdrich you are truly missing a unique reading experience.

This is the fourth book I have read by Erdrich.  Erdrich is a well known Native American writer from Minnesota whose books mainly take place in her native state of North Dakota. Many of her books are semi-autobiographical where she details and fictionalizes some of the extended members of her family.  Native American themes are strongly represented in most of her books and in The Master Butcher's Singing Club she figuratively represents the German side of her family coming into contact with the Native side. 

  Louise Erdrich currently lives in Minneapolis and owns a bookstore called Birch Bark Books.

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