Study Guide

Love Medicine Section 5, Chapter 1

By Louise Erdrich

Section 5, Chapter 1

Marie Kashpaw

  • This section is called "The Beads (1948)"
  • Now we're checking in with Marie years later, after she had become Marie Kashpaw. We learn about how she had come to take care of June, who was her sister Lucille's daughter. Lucille had died alone out in the bush, and June had been left to fend for herself. She survived by eating pine sap, yum.
  • When she got delivered to Marie (by Marie's family and June's father), she was wearing rosary beads around her neck.
  • Marie had grown really fond of June, despite not wanting her at first. We get some more details about their family dynamics through the years, including Marie's efforts to keep Nector from drinking too much.
  • We also hear the story again about the time June almost got hanged. However, we get a lot more detail this time—apparently, June had been super annoyed that Marie interrupted the "game," calling her guardian some very nasty names. Apparently she had really wanted to be hanged…
  • June ultimately decided to go live with Uncle Eli. When she left, she finally left behind that rosary she had been wearing since her mother died.

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