Rating: 5 / 5
FIREKEEPER’S DAUGHTER by Angeline Boulley was one of our #SaturdayBookstaClub book picks for April. I had heard all good things going into this one and the cover is absolutely stunning, so I was super hyped to read it. I also received a complementary ALC copy of this one from Macmillan Audio and Libro.FM.
FIREKEEPER’S DAUGHTER follows Daunis, a girl who lives between worlds. She is an unenrolled tribal member living near the Ojibwe reservation, a part of the tribal community but also not quite. Daunis is also half white, but she doesn’t entirely fit in with that half of her family either. In the wake of her uncle’s death, Daunis has set aside her own goals in life to stay close to enroll in college close to home to care for her mother and her family.
One of the ongoing problems within the tribes is drug abuse and Daunis has seen the impact first hand with her family and friends. When she witnesses a murder, she is sucked even deeper into the mystery of what is happening around her.
I am happy to say that this book lived up to all of the hopes I had for it. The audiobook was excellent as well! This is definitely on the mature end of the young adult spectrum (maybe a bit more new adult than YA in my opinion) and there are trigger warnings for sexual assault, violence, abuse, racism, and drugs. My heart really went out to Daunis in the difficult situations she faced. She had lifelong struggles with finding her identity in the midst of the different aspects of her life and heritage, plus more recent tragedies that dealt blows to her family and friends to contend with.
The author gives some excellent insights into the problems with tribal life in the way law enforcement his handled (or not). The story includes family dynamics, friendships, and a bit of romance as well. It isn’t a book that is going to hand you everything in the end all tied up in a happily ever after bow, and I really liked that!
One of our buddy read books last year was WINTER COUNTS by David Heska Wanbli Weiden which touches on some of the same topics (tribal politics/policing, drug abuse, etc.) so it was interesting to get a different, younger perspective on some of the same ideas.
I really loved this novel and will be looking for more from Angeline Boulley in the future!