READING CHALLENGE BOOK REVIEW: The Fire Keepers Daughter by Angelina Boulley
SynopsisEighteen-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.
This was a beautifully written tragic story of a young woman trying to figure out where she fits and help her community by helping discover who is cooking and selling Meth. This book is not an easy read as there are instances of abusive relationships, deaths and violence against women.
However the mythology, stories, and language of the Ojibwa people is infused within the pages. This is a love story to their culture and the atrocities against them. How the white people who live amongst them only see the money they receive from the casino and are jealous. They ignore the fact that not so long ago native children were stolen and forced to integrate into white culture, stealing their language and their stories from them, not to mention the violence and sexual fetishism of Native women that is never prosecuted. How Native families were forced onto reservations, their land stolen and claimed. But they call them lazy.
I went through so many emotions reading this book. Sadness, anger, happiness, empowerment. This is a coming of age story, a story of a young woman who finds her place and her way. She is strong, she will not be broken even though she has ever reason to. She is a proud Ojibwe woman.
I can't say enough about this book. I loved it. I wish my grandmother was alive today so I could talk about it with her. She loved Native culture, was horrified by how they have been treated and was always reading about it. However there weren't always many book by Native authors. Now there are, and Boulley has done an amazing job with this story to capture the pain, the joy and love within her community.
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