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review 2017-11-28 21:52
For readers who love inspirational stories, complex female characters, and historical fiction
Bear Medicine: A Novel - G. Elizabeth Kretchmer

I have read two of Elizabeth Kretchmer’s books before. The Damnable Legacy (you can check my review here) and Women on the Brink (check the review here) and enjoyed them. When I was informed that the author had published a new book, I had to check it out.

Once again, Kretchmer focuses on issues that relate to women’s lives and also to the environment and to human beings’ place in the world. The story is narrated by two women, Brooke and Anne, in the first-person. Although both women have a lot in common (both are married and not terribly happy in their marriages, although they are not fully aware of it or at least they haven’t acknowledged it to themselves yet, and they both love nature), they are separated by a hundred and forty years. Whilst Brooke lives in our present, Anne convinces her husband to visit Yellowstone not long after the Park is established, seriously underestimating the risks. Both women suffer because of their decisions (Brooke is mauled by a grizzly bear and is seriously injured, and Anne ends up alone and defenseless without experience on surviving in the wild) and are helped by other women. And in both cases, these seemingly terrible decisions end up totally changing their lives. The book is part contemporary women’s fiction and part historical fiction, and an inspirational read.

Both characters are sympathetic because of the terrible circumstances they find themselves in, although they are not the standard heroines that suddenly and almost magically become enlightened and proficient at everything. They sometimes show little insight into their real situations, can be naïve, do little to help themselves, moan, and take one step forward and two steps back. If anything, Anne, who married young and has little experience of the world, seems to take to the new situation and accept Meg’s teachings more easily, although it must have been a bigger shock to her and farther away from her everyday experience. The society of her time was also more prejudiced, and the fact that she becomes best friends with a Native American woman is much more of a leap of faith than Brooke’s friendship with Laila and her confused feelings about the younger woman. But Brooke has also been victimised (even though it takes her quite a while to accept that) for much longer, has two grown-up children, and therefore has much more to lose. It is understandable that she struggles more and it takes her longer to fully embrace her new reality. I think most women will recognize themselves in one of the characters, either the narrators or their friends and helpers, and feel personally involved in the novel.

The writing is beautifully descriptive and there are very touching moments, some because of the extremes of emotion and suffering, and some because of the moments of clarity and insight that the love of the women and their cooperation with each other brings them. The author has done her research (she explains her process at the end and also acknowledges her sources) and I learned much about the birth of Yellowstone and the Indian Wars by reading this book.

There are serious and current subjects discussed in the novel (abuse [mental, physical, and sexual], rape, drug abuse, mental illness, nature and environment, the protection of wild animals, politics, parent-child relationship), there are adventures and risky situations, secrets, betrayal, and plenty of love. Although most readers will figure out soon enough the connection between the two women, we care enough for both characters and their adventures to keep reading and hoping we will be right about the end. And yes, the ending is empowering and positive too.

An emotional book (yes, I did cry), an enlightened book, and also a realistic book, that shows us some women who are not the perfect heroines, all powerful and knowing, but who make mistakes, hesitate, don’t know what to do for the best, and can be annoying and irritating at times, but who become stronger and learn about themselves by joining with other women and choosing to work together.

An inspiring read and a book that I recommend to women (and men) who enjoy multi-dimensional characters. It will also delight people who love historical fiction, in particular, the Indian Wars, and readers interested in Native American tradition and mythology. Another great book by a writer I will keep my eye on.

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review 2017-11-23 19:37
Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich
Love Medicine - Louise Erdrich

This isn’t a terrible book, but I can’t claim to have enjoyed it. Love Medicine is a somewhat awkward merger between novel and short story collection, made up of 17 pieces about two families living on the Ojibwe/Chippewa reservation over the span of about 50 years, from the 1930s to the 1980s. I call it an awkward merger because the stories all feature the same group of characters, but there’s neither the overarching plot you want from a novel nor the neatly encapsulated plots you expect from short stories. Life happens, but it isn’t organized by much plot structure at all.

Still, my dissatisfaction stemmed less from plotting issues and more from the fact that I simply never became invested in these characters. The first chapter was promising enough, but the older generation’s love triangle provided little interest, and something about the characters’ motivations and viewpoints felt off. It certainly doesn’t help that 13 of the 17 stories are told in first person, by 6 different narrators, of both genders, various ages, and from three different generations, and they all sound alike. Which tends to destroy the illusion that we’re hearing from different people, and for that matter, that these are characters at all rather than multiple figments of the same author’s imagination. It’s always baffled me that first-time authors – those least equipped to write multiple narrators successfully – are the most likely to attempt this feat, but I think I’ve hit on the explanation, which is that almost no one, no matter how experienced, can do this well and debut authors are also the least equipped to recognize their limitations.

That said, awhile back I tried to read Erdrich’s most recent novel, LaRose, and bounced off of it, finding the plot diffuse and the characters uninteresting. So it seems most likely that I simply don’t connect with this author’s writing. Fortunately for me, after finishing this I started Anything Is Possible, which provides everything I wanted here – a constellation of linked short stories about beauty and pain in everyday life, with characters and situations that caught and held my attention – albeit featuring white Midwesterners rather than Native Americans.

An endnote about the endnote: removing “The Tomahawk Factory” from the main text because “it interrupted the flow” and then tacking it on to the end just seems to muddle the book’s ending. I read it second-to-last, which happily turns out to be its chronological placement, once I realized it was meant to be part of this book and not a preview for another one.

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review 2017-10-02 07:32
George's Marvellous Medicine by Roald Dahl
George's Marvellous Medicine - Quentin Blake,Roald Dahl

George's Marvellous Medicine is a very short children's book that is enhanced by Quentin Blake's quirky illustrations. George's grandmother isn't very nice so he decides to make her a new medicine with the hopes of improving her temperament. However, things don't go as planned and George manages to concoct several medicines with unusual properties. This is a funny story that little children will probably enjoy - their grandmother's, not so much.

 

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review 2017-09-28 16:18
Cannabis Extracts In Medicine by #JeffreyDach, #ElaineA.Moore, #JustinKander
Cannabis Extracts in Medicine: The Promise of Benefits in Seizure Disorders, Cancer and Other Conditions (Mcfarland Health Topics) - Jeffrey Dach M.D.,Justin Kander,Elaine A. Moore

Cannabis Extracts in Medicine

 

There is a huge controversy over Marijuana and its byproducts, but I think it is time to put aside the political agendas and see this as just another medication that can improve peoples lives.

 

A little education can go a long way.

 

Cannabis Extracts in Medicine: The Promise of Benefits in Seizure Disorders, Cancer and Other Conditions (McFarland Health Topics)

Amazon US  /  Amazon UK  /  Amazon CA  /  Goodreads

 

MY REVIEW

 

BEFORE you condemn it, learn about it.

 

I know this is a controversial subject, but there are so many reasons to rethink the illegality of marijuana.

 

It is not all about getting high, but, also, feeling better, being able to lead a productive life for young and old alike.

 

The illegality of marijuana came about in the 30’s. What drove it? Dupont, greed and politics?

 

Reading Cannabis was an education for me, not only in the drug, marijuana, itself, but all the things surrounding it. The political ramifications, the cost to victims lives when they are imprisoned, and the loss of their possessions through asset forfeiture. I mean, we don’t treat a murderer this badly.

 

So many diseases and ailments can be treated with marijuana, without the debilitating side affects of many legal pharmaceuticals…epilepsy, seizures, anxiety, bipolar, pain, cancer, parkinsons, and some major central nervous system disorders…insomnia, schizophrenia, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and inflammation and inflammatory diseases.

The growing of marijuana is the same as creating legal pharmaceuticals, they are developed. You don’t just throw a seed in the ground, give it some water, light and fertilizer and voila. It is complicated and costly, but, in my book, something we need to consider.

 

Have you had someone you love, or yourself, in torturous, overwhelming pain, anxiety that paralyzes you, a terminal illness that legal drugs make any kind of life impossible, , even though you are sitting beside the person, they are so drugged they don’t even know you are there?

 

What is wrong with giving people all the options that are out there? Don’t you want to make your own choices, when your health and quality of life is on the line?

 

At the end of each chapter of the books is a wonderful, simplistic summary of the chapter that makes things easy to understand.

 

I would recommend this book to EVERYONE.

 

I voluntarily reviewed a free copy of Cannabis Extracts In Medicine by Jeffrey Dach, MD.

Animated Animals. Pictures, Images and Photos 5 Stars

 

Read more here.

 
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Source: www.fundinmental.com/cannabis-extracts-in-medicine-by-jeffreydach-elainea-moore-justinkander
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