Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley
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I was sent a copy of this novel by the publishers to review, however this has no bearing on my rating or review.
Eighteen-year-old Daunis’s mixed heritage has always made her feel like an outsider, both in her hometown and on the nearby Ojibwe reservation. When she witnesses a shocking murder, she reluctantly agrees to be part of a covert FBI operation into a series of drug-related deaths.
But the deceptions – and deaths – keep piling up and soon the threat strikes too close to home. Now Daunis must decide what it means to be a strong Anishinaabe kwe (Ojibwe woman) and how far she’ll go to protect her community, even if it tears apart the only world she’s ever known.
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Firekeeper’s Daughter is phenomenal, I read this book in March and I’m already convinced it will be my favourite novel of 2021! The story of Daunis and her attempts to unravel the crimes being committed within her community is beautifully and heartbreakingly written. This is one of the most complex stories I have ever read, it isn’t simply a thriller novel, it is an unflinching tale of gendered violence, rape, race and drugs interwoven with the beauty of Ojibwe traditions and culture. The author kept me hooked on Daunis’s story from the first page to the last, I devoured this entire book within a couple of days in my desperation to discover the truth.
As well as writing a fast paced and action packed story, Angeline Boulley also included a surprising yet sweet romance in this book. The character development, the plot, the setting, everything within this book is perfection! I listened to the audiobook of Firekeeper’s Daughter alongside reading the novel, and I would highly recommend listening to all or parts of this book to fully appreciate the story. By listening to the audio I was able to fully immerse myself in Daunis’s story and hear the correct pronunciation of her beautiful language.
Angeline Boulley has crafted one of the best debuts I have ever read, the story is perfectly paced to keep the reader engaged while taking the time to educate us on Ojibwe traditions and culture. I was drawn to Firekeeper’s Daughter from my own desire to read more books by Indigenous authors, please remember that we should all strive to diversify our reading as much as possible, if you have yet to read a book by an indigenous author I highly recommend ordering a copy of this debut. Firekeeper’s Daughter is a detailed, powerful and thrilling novel that I will reread countless times.
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