Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich

(In which the lonesome and kind-hearted deserve refuge.)

***

I have been reading this book before Christmas and another season is already approaching yet I haven’t even finished half of it for lack of time. It is about the daughter of a drunkard and a romantically unfortunate (at least for now) Delphine Watzka and the German butcher Fidelis. When Delphine met Eva, Fidelis’ wife, she was overwhelmed with admiration for everything she does and she loved Eva as a dear friend. She stayed with her until she finally died and so her children went under the agonizing supervision of Tante, Fidelis’ sister – a pious Lutheran who despised Eva being a Catholic.

What made Delphine’s “married life” (for she has only made a self proclamation that they were married and even bought a ring to save her from utter shame) miserable began right after she discovered her husband Cyprian’s homosexuality one afternoon on a park bench. The proverb “The truth will set you free” seems appropriate as they came to understand each other more after the truth was out. Delphine realized that Cyprian loved her with a love for a sister. And now she has lost Eva and was somehow bound to take care of everything that she has left which includes her sons and Fidelis. And then she has her own life to fix.

I wonder how it is to be there to take care of people yet no one’s there to look after you. And I was in a state of sheer disbelief when she still took Cyprian in her arms and home right after he came from another man’s lap without any questions asked. And then there’s the doubt if she really loved him and until when she can put up with the nights they spent sexually together which happen very rarely and only out of obligation and not will. And how about the days when he travel? She is no dummy not to know what he does but she still hangs on to every moment she has with Cyprian as if they were true manifestations of the self-same love she has for him.

What I have in my mind right now as I continue to flip the pages was the hope that Delphine marry Fidelis someday and have a normal life. Besides, they were two lonely souls. Well, it’s too early to tell, I know.





Currently Reading:
The Master Butchers Singing Club by Louise Erdrich