this book is the sequel to Love Medicine and chronicles the tale of three children abandoned by their mother in a rather comical fashion, of how they separate and eventually come back together again over the course of forty years. it also the story of three women and a child - two cousins, an in-law and her daughter - living in a farming village in north dakota. the native americans in this story are more or less peripheral, yet powerfully portrayed, and there is one main character, the part-native gal, Celestine, who becomes an in-law to the two cousins. while i didn't enjoy this novel as much as love medicine, i will say that l.e. writes at times some of the most outrageously funny material i've ever read, including the scene where Aunt Mary teaches her niece's first grade teacher a lesson, and another scene that must be the funniest death scene ever written (probably) - and not disrespectfully so - I would imagine the deceased would never have wanted it any other way.