A contemplative exploration of existing between two cultural identities meets fake relationship romance meets backwoods thriller in this absolute powerhouse of a debut from Ojibwe author Angeline Boulley ... Firekeeper's Daughter has a riveting plot that has all the hallmarks of a crime thriller while simultaneously questioning all the assumptions that the genre usually makes about policing and justice. I hit the middle and then couldn't put it down. But Firekeeper's Daughter is so, so much more than a thriller or a mystery ... There has long been a need for more books that depict Indigenous people as living people in our modern world rather than as a romanticized and often inaccurate fairytale of the past, and Firekeeper's Daughter carries that torch brightly.
Angeline Boulley has written a heartbreaking, exquisitely paced page-turner of a mystery novel that genuinely surprised me with many of its clever plot twists. Her observations and insights on Ojibwe culture and rituals are fascinating on their own but coupled with a crime thriller narrative make for utterly compulsive reading ... Books like Firekeeper’s Daughter are so important in amplifying the voices of the marginalized in hopes of creating a better, more just tomorrow. Smart, searing, and singular, this novel deserves to be considered an American classic.
... the story takes off at a tear, with revelations and bodies piling up ... Debut author Angeline Boulley, an enrolled member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, takes her time setting up this world of interlocking histories and secrets ... Boulley doesn't shy away from the old-money entrenched racism from Daunis' maternal family, and the ribbing and sometimes rejection she receives from her Anishinaabe relatives who assume she has a protection they don't from her family trust fund and her lighter skin. Some of the novel's best passages are the bawdy text exchanges between Daunis and her friend Lily ... Boulley has found a compelling vehicle to introduce readers to an Upper Midwest experience that is often invisible to non-Natives. She complicates the white default of the U.P. and immerses us in Anishinaabe language and culture ... [a] brash, refreshing storyteller.
Though the year has barely just begun, I’m confident in saying that Firekeeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley is one of the best books of 2021 ... I can’t even begin to describe how much I loved Firekeeper’s Daughter. How in awe of it I was and, frankly, still am. Part thriller, part romance, part coming of age novel… It’s difficult to categorize this novel because it’s a perfect blend of so many genres and journeys.
With sharp turns and charming characters, this debut thriller by Annishinabe author Boulley centers 18-year-old Daunis Fontaine, who loves and fits into her community but yearns for official citizenship in the Sault tribe ... Hitting hard when it comes to issues such as citizenship, language revitalization, and the corrosive presence of drugs on Native communities, this novel will long stand in the hearts of both Native and non-Native audiences.
While dealing with tough topics like rape, drugs, racism, and death, this book balances the darkness with Ojibwe cultural texture and well-crafted characters. Daunis is a three-dimensional, realistically imperfect girl trying her best to handle everything happening around her. The first-person narration reveals her internal monologue, allowing readers to learn what’s going on in her head as she encounters anti-Indian bias and deals with grief. A suspenseful tale filled with Ojibwe knowledge, hockey, and the politics of status.