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Book Review of Firekeeper's Daughter by Angeline Boulley

I am a homemaker, mother and a wife. I have a passion for books. I always like to know about different books and love to read them.

About the Author and the Book

Angeline Boulley, the author of the book, is a member of the Sault St. Marie Tribe of Chippewa. She lives in Southwest Michigan. Firekeeper’s Daughter is her debut novel. It is written mainly for young adults and highlights the culture of her Native American tribe. It took the author 10 years to finish this book. The novel starts as a teen romance but soon turns into a mystery and thriller

It was released in March 2021 and was hit instantly. It also became New York Times No. 1 Bestseller. The book has won many awards including William C Morris YA Debut Award for the year 2022, Michael L Printz award for excellence in Young Adult Literature 2022, Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Young Adult Fiction for the year 2021.



It is the story of an 18-year-old Daunis Fontaine. She is bi-racial as her mother is white but her father, the Firekeeper, was from Native American Ojibwe community. Her father died when she was small. She is very attached to her father’s tribe but is not enrolled as a member because her birth certificate doesn’t show her father’s name. Her mother is from a wealthy family but they never embraced the family of her husband’s side. Moreover, the father of Daunis cheated her mother on another girl. For Daunis, she is in between two worlds and is hard for her to fit in both. Her mother and she are also grieving the death of her uncle David who died of meth(a drug) overdose.

Through her step-brother Levis, Daunis meets Jamie, a new ravishing recruit of his hockey team. His charm attracts her but soon she realises that he is hiding something from her. She becomes his ambassador, introduces him to the area and her community. But, the more she tries to get closer to him, the more she gets suspicious about him and his secrets.

One unfortunate day, Daunis witnesses the murder of her best friend by her meth-addicted boyfriend. The circumstances push Daunis into an investigation by the FBI. She comes to know that drug addiction is wounding her community and is taking the lives of her people. She becomes part of the investigation to expose the culprits and save her community. She becomes an undercover informant.

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Angeline Boulley has written an exceptionally good debut novel. The book is intense, powerful, and informative. The reader learns a lot about the culture and tradition of the Ojibwe community. The first part of the book is more about the rituals, ceremonies, traditional practices, and family interactions of the tribe. It shows the author’s love for the culture. The reader gets touched by the sheer affection of the community and the social bond. Many sensitive subjects like drug trafficking and addiction, sexual assault, violence against women, trauma, and grief are also beautifully handled by the author. The book contains thrill, suspense, and romance too. The love story of Jamie and Daunis has been handled in a very mature way.

Daunis is the most important character in the book. She has a very scientific approach to life and is shown as very erudite, assertive, and spontaneous. Her robustness and empowerment are through her connections with her community. She is very selfless and very tough at times.

The downside of the novel is that it is a long book, hence the reader needs a bit of patience to read it. The story has many characters which make it difficult at times to remember some of them. There are few repetitions and the suspense is a bit predictable.

The book is for the ages 14 and up but I would recommend it for 16+ as the book has covered many sensitive issues.

© 2022 SD Mistry

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