Firekeeper’s Daughter

Angeline Bouley

Even though it is only March, I can say without a doubt that Firekeeper’s Daughter will be one of my favorite books this year. Before I even finished the book, I ordered a hardcopy to have in my collection to reread.

Quick Synopsis

Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college, but when family tragedy strikes, Daunis puts her future on hold to look after her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team. But Jamie is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug.

Publisher’s Synopsis

Eighteen-year-old Daunis Fontaine has never quite fit in, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. She dreams of a fresh start at college, but when family tragedy strikes, Daunis puts her future on hold to look after her fragile mother. The only bright spot is meeting Jamie, the charming new recruit on her brother Levi’s hockey team.

Yet even as Daunis falls for Jamie, she senses the dashing hockey star is hiding something. Everything comes to light when Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, thrusting her into an FBI investigation of a lethal new drug.

Reluctantly, Daunis agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source. But the search for truth is more complicated than Daunis imagined, exposing secrets and old scars. At the same time, she grows concerned with an investigation that seems more focused on punishing the offenders than protecting the victims.

Now, as the deceptions―and deaths―keep growing, Daunis must learn what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go for her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.

Book Review

Firekeeper’s Daughter is a powerful and stunning debut novel about truth, family, and tribal community. It is a compulsive and emotional story that intertwines Ojibwe history, principles, and beliefs with current issues affecting tribal communities.

Firekeeper’s Daughter wrecked me emotionally. From Daunis’s coming to terms with her split identity as both Anishnaabe (Ojibwe) and Zhaaganaash (white) to grappling with traumatic events, Boulley creates characters that are real and relatable. Her writing is propulsive and intoxicating. My heart was full with love, hate, disappointment, and pride as I read Daunis’s journey. I think this book will touch everyone’s soul as it did mine.

I loved learning about Ojibwe traditions and community. As I try to read more Native literature this year, I have found enjoyment in learning these things and wishing that more attention is paid to the atrocities and continued oppression Natives face in this country. I really appreciated how Boulley highlights pervasive occurrences, such as the murder of and violence against Native women, as well as legal issues that arise from tribal governments’ limited reach.

My only piece of constructive criticism is that I wish that the book had a glossary to define Anishinaabemowin terms. I ended up Googling a lot for those that there was not enough context to make a solid guess at their meaning.

Overall, I loved Firekeeper’s Daughter SO much. I will be recommending it to everyone I know. I am often hesitant to read young adult or new adult fiction, but I think this is a story for all audiences.

Rating

Overall Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Writing

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Plot

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Character Development

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Firekeeper’s Daughter

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

Genre
Young Adult;
Mysteries & Thrillers

Publication Date
March 16, 2021

Pages
320


Storygraph Rating
4.47 stars

Goodreads Rating
4.41 stars


Buy Now

Note: I received an e-galley of this book from the publisher, Henry Holt & Co. Regardless, I always provide a fair and honest review.

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