Study Guide

Love Medicine Section 15, Chapter 1

By Louise Erdrich

Section 15, Chapter 1

Lulu Lamartine

  • Here we are in Section 15: The Good Tears (1983).
  • Back inside Lulu's mind, we get some of her thoughts on her many loves and children—and the various opinions people had about her "wild and secret ways." Apparently people were pretty judgy about her behavior with men, but she didn't seem to care.
  • Lulu also relays the story of a dead man she found in the woods near her playhouse when she was a child.
  • She thinks about her affair with Nector and the highs and lows of their romance, which ended when she decided to marry Beverly Lamartine.
  • She also remembers the day that Nector set her house on fire, when she had to crawl in to rescue the sleeping Lyman. The fire had burned all her hair off, which meant she had to wear a wig for the rest of her life.
  • She then describes what happened with her land there. Even though the tribe had been trying to force her off, she stayed put until they purchased her a better lot to live on.
  • She thinks about her kids, including Gerry and Henry (and how the war changed the latter). She also thinks about the day Henry Junior died. She knew that Lyman was lying when he said their car had veered off into the water, but she didn't press him on it. She also mentions having her final child, Bonita—her first girl.
  • When she started losing her vision, she ended up at the "Senior Citizens," the same retirement/nursing home where Nector was living. We get the incident in the laundry room from her perspective, as well as other details about their interactions during that period.
  • Apparently, after Nector died, and Lulu had just had an operation down in Grand Forks, Lyman finally asked her if Nector was his father. She didn't respond, and he decided he didn't really want to know.
  • Lulu also mentions that Nector had visited her after his death.
  • When Lulu required assistance after her operation, she applied for an aide, but the home was too overextended to give her one. So, Marie offered to take care of her, and the two ladies bonded as a result. After all, they were mourning the same dude.

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