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Book Review of FIREKEEPER’S DAUGHTER by Angeline Boulley

With an Ojibwe father and white mother, protagonist DaunisFontaine constantly navigates two worlds in Firekeeper’s Daughter, a young adult mystery that unfolds at breakneck speed.  When it appears that someone in her hometown in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is peddling a lethal form of methresulting in the deaths of several friends, Daunis is secretly recruited by the FBI to help solve the case.

Add to the mix Daunis’s love interest, Jamie Johnson, who sports a mysterious facial scar and plays on the Sault Ste. Marie’s elite Junior A hockey team, and you’ve got a multi-layered thriller. So much to follow and think about. Absolutely absorbing!

What I loved about the novel was Angeline Boulley’s portrayal of Ojibwe culture and Daunis’s dance between her Zhaaganaash(white) roots and her Anishinaabe (Ojibwe) roots. (Her “Nish”—native—friends call her Ghost because of her pale skin.) Despite the death of her father several years prior, Daunis clings fiercely to her indigenous identity and the Firekeeper legacy.

Boulley piles on more tension by weaving in the issues many tribal communities face: drug use, questionable local governance, and government’s (as in the FBI’s investigation) tone-deaf intrusion in tribal culture.




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