Please describe the rising action for Chapter 13 in Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich, the chapter about Lipsha and the turkey hearts. 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Rising action in terms of plot is everything which happens between the inciting action and the climax/crisis/turning point. In chapter thirteen of Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich, the inciting action is probably when Marie Kashpaw asks her adopted grandson, Lipsha Morrissey, to use what he calls "the gift" to make her husband (Lipsha's grandfather) love and remain faithful to her. 

Lipsha knows his healing gift cannot be used on some people, and Nector Kashpaw is one of them. His grandmother insists, though, and wants him to use an ancient tribal form of medicine called "love medicine," which uses items and tokens from nature to cast a kind of love spell. Lipsha says:

Grandma tried to get me to put the touch on Grandpa soon after he began stepping out. I didn't want to....

This is the complication which sets the rest of the story in motion. 

Once they decide to try love medicine, Lipsha and his grandmother decide that each of the Kashpaws should eat the heart of a goose because geese mate for life. They are both hoping that this quality will be transmitted, through the goose hearts, from the faithful geese to the unfaithful Nector Kashpaw.

Lipsha tries to shoot a pair of geese, but his first shots fail, Unfortunately, this causes him to fall into some despair and soon he has stopped believing in the power of love medicine. Instead of persevering and doing what he knows he should do to effect powerful medicine (which requires the hearts of the geese fresh from the kill), Lipsha gives up. 

He goes to the store and purchases frozen turkey hearts, something which could not possibly be expected to possess any power. He tries to convince himself that the items do not possess the power, that the power is in his (and Marie's) faith to believe, but he does not believe his own arguments. 

He tries to get the hearts blessed, but even that does not work. He finally has to go home, follow through with the plan, and hope for the best. What happens next is part of the climax, a turning point for both Marie and Nector which neither of them expected.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial