Study Guide

Love Medicine Section 12: Chapter 1

By Louise Erdrich

Section 12: Chapter 1

  • This bad boy is called "Crown of Thorns (1981)."
  • This chapter chronicles what had happened to Gordie in the wake of June's death. Apparently, he started drinking pretty heavily and got himself into a lot of trouble.
  • One day, when he was alone in his house toward sunset, he believed he saw June at the window and freaked out. He believed she was pounding on the glass trying to get in. (Since Gordie was a big drinker at this point, it seems likely that he was under the influence.)
  • He ran around trying to get the apparition to go away. Nothing worked, and he believed she was in the house, so he grabbed the car keys and left. He was going to town to get more alcohol.
  • While he was driving, he hit a deer. However, in his confused, drunken state, he came to believe that he had actually killed June. He put the carcass in the back seat of his car. At one point, the supposedly dead deer sat up in the back seat, and Gordie whacked her on the head to get her to lie down again.
  • Then the narrative shifts over to follow a Sister Mary Martin de Porres, who was up late playing her clarinet at around this time. Because it was pretty late, she was shocked when Gordie showed up at the convent claiming that he'd killed his wife and begging to confess to a priest.
  • When she went out to the car, of course, she was shocked to find that there was a deer in the back seat.

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