British Jihadism gThis was a uite a short but beautifully written book about revenge but with an unexpected change of heart and an uplifting conclusionI enjoyed most the story of Fleur Pillager and John Mauser the man who stole her trees and her land His sister in law who is one of the book s narrators is also areat character and she has her own interesting sub storyI felt the story of Nanapush and Margaret was a little too slapstick for my taste but I have not read Tracks so I had not met this couple before I believe if I had read that first I would have had a better understanding of them Now I need to read all of the author s Love Medicine works preferably in order This is a story of revenge Anger and bitterness tempered by love Turned into love Unlikely love Hilarious love A mother s love Spirit love When everything fails when everything is lost there is still love Only Erdrich writes this wayputting slapstick side by side with mysticism Describing earthy vulgarities and cruelties in poetry The last couple of pages are filled with lyricism summarizing individual and cultural loss so perfectly with such pain and Virgin Widow grace Long live Louise Erdrich What a vision what voices Astounding A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of finishing another novel by Louise Erdrich Sadly I am only just nowetting a chance to sit down and work through the wizardry of her work As expected I am coming away with a Wife in Exchange good deal admiration for her work Erdrich I think I have said elsewhere is one of my favourite writers and the collection of personalities and timelines and events that she has made in her large number of interconnecting works is nothing short of incredibly impressiveThis book though falls a little short of the standard that I have come to expect from her It isn t easy for me to explain why On display are all of the things I like about her Strong lyrical writing An impressive mixing of all sorts of different cultural traditions each of which handled honourably Unexpected romances and storylines which each bring to mind old storylines from older books and open up new ones for future books A not too heavy moral hand but aood awareness of morality A The Eternal Ice (Magic: The Gathering: Ice Age Cycle, great sense of humour And we evenet to see of two or three of my favourite characters Fleur that mysterious and powerful figure who survives in the universe with an inexplicable and uniue strength honour and motivation Nanapush who is a source of incredible wisdom and remarkable hilarity coming out of his unusual worldview And his not uite wife Margaret who when we finally ets the chance to narrate a chapter narrates it beautifully For what it is worth Fleur and Nanapush might be among the best characters I have ever had the pleasure to read about and the best narrators I have ever had the chance to read from Margaret isn t far behind and I look forward to reading from her in whichever book by Erdrich I decide to tackle nextFor what it is worth Fleur has never to my knowledge been one of Erdrich s numerous narrators
Only a central character We have no sense of how she actually sees the world a central character We have no sense of how she actually sees the world how others see her and her interactions with the world And the way they understand her is not in the way that we would expect somebody to be understood in literature a paragraph or two of descriptions which try to capture this very human figure into a few simple words No this is a person we only et to understand almost understand by a bundle of stories about her past and her present Nobody really tries to describe her in any comprehensive way She like all humans is beyond that kind of explanationIn this book it is particularly interesting that Fleur doesn t Tennessee Takedown / Ravens Hollow get to narrate any portion of this story She is without a doubt the central figure and the driving force for the plotline Literary folks would call her the antagonist The book follows her move from the reserve where she has lived her life and watched the forest of her people be destroyed byreedy white men to the nearby and bustling little city of St PaulMinneapolis where she becomes a servant in the home of the man who cut down the trees which had covered the land parcelled out to her family She went with The Intention Of Killing intention of killing and in time heals him from an ailment marries him and then has a child with him It is a puzzling switch in her motives and it isn t ever clearly explained But again we don t really need an explanation of her motives so much as we need to just watch her move through the world It is a mesmerizing dance that she does and it ends with a beautiful bundle of moments the sort that we read Erdrich forBut something here is uite full or complete or right and than either of the other two books I have read of Erdrich s I came away feeling as though this one was incomplete as a standalone title That could in part be blamed on its length it is shorter by a ood couple hundred pages but it is definitely crutching on some of the other books that she had already written Most notably Tracks as far as I know but perhaps others This means that some things aren t as well explained as I often hoped for with the idea of the title never being particularly well explained That isn t the end of the world I know this book will make sense as I
Read Of Her Work of her work it was a bit of a letdown It is also worth noting that the writing isn t uite as strong as it almost always is with Erdrich every now and then I felt like one edit would have perfected a sentence or a paragraph It isn t weak enough or freuently enough to ruin anything. This small but incredibly rich chapter in Erdrich's ongoing Native American saga is a continuation of the story of the enigmatic Fleur Pillager begun in Tracks 1988 Four Souls begins with Fleur Pillager's journey from North Dakota to Minneapolis where she plans to avenge. S room for a rim faced avenger tossing murderous thugs through plate Michaels Discovery (The Devaneys glass windows the revenge stories thatrip me are those who play the long Shotgun Wedding (Silhouette Yours Truly, game I like anger that burns cold and steady instead of flaring out in a furious moment of cathartic rage I like protagonists who keep the fires of their anger stoked low and steady feeding them slowly and setting the scene just so before claiming their personal justice Think Dumas Count of Monte Cristo or Shoshanna Dreyfus in Tarantino s Inglourious Basterds than Dashiell Hammett s Red Harvest or the battered heroes of a James Ellroy novelSuch a protagonist is Fleur Pillager Last of her proud line the sole survivor of a smallpox outbreak when she was a small child the final remaining tie she has to her family and her heritage is the land that had been left to her vast acres of pristine untouched forests and an island in the center of a lake said to house the unsettled spirits of her bloodline Having lost this land to a rapacious timber baron at the conclusion of Erdrich s Tracks Fleur has abandoned her daughter to the care of the state run Indian schools meant to westernize and civilize indigenous youths secretly taken the name of Four Souls after her mother and trudged down the railroad line from her North Dakota reservation to bustling early 20th century Minneapolis in order to track down and claim vengeance upon the white man who has pillaged and destroyed her land the fiend John James MauserWhen she arrives and surreptiously takes a job as a laundress in Mauser s mansion she discovers that the unrepentant monster that she has come to do battle with is none too intimidating in person Wracked by an unnamed ailment which we now to be PTSD acuired while serving in France during the Great War the Mauser she finds strapped into his sweat soaked bed is a shade a convalescentripped by fierce muscle spasms and ceaseless insomnia There s no satisfaction in murdering a helpless invalid so Fleur takes it upon herself to restore Mauser to health and vitality winning his heart in the process and weaving a far convoluted revenge than the simple assassination she had originally planned Plunging ahead with the tenacity and strength that had made the Pillagers both feared and respected Fleur finds that even when in service to a righteous cause anger has its conseuences and the actions taken in its name will change not only those involved but will reverberate across Life Changing Smiles generationsThis tale is not simply Fleur s however In between narrating bits of Fleur s story the lovable rascal Nanapush finds time to continue his own misbegotten adventures Whether it be seeking his own brand of vengeance on a neighbor who has been a lifelong adversary tormenting his long suffering partner Margaret Kashpaw who is uite adept ativing as much rief as she receives or seeking to preserve the borders of the Ojibwe
#reservation from death by a thousand bureaucratic papercuts Sagacious and buffoonish often simultaneously Nanapush proves #from death by a thousand bureaucratic papercuts Sagacious and buffoonish often simultaneously Nanapush proves again why he is one of my all time favorite fictional characters in a cringingly hilarious scene wherein he finds himself drunk in front of the entire tribe wearing his wife s newly made medicine dress using every shred of made medicine dress using every shred of wit and louaciousness to save both the lands of his people and his own honorThis is the third Erdrich book I ve devoured in the past year and with every page I turned the esteem I hold for her increased With a loose and digressive narrative style that fosters perfectly the notion that the reader is sitting at the storyteller s feet as she weaves the tale it is all too easy to fall deep into her words and lose all awareness of the world passing around you While a seuel of sorts to Tracks each book reads just as well as a stand alone novel and one need not be familiar with any of the preceding events in order to become immersed in Erdrich s captivating storytelling though once you finish you may find yourself running to your library to pick up her other books 355For better or for worse I ve committed myself to the career path of reading and writing about reading and reading about writing about reading and forever and anon which at times simply means that I ll become increasingly nit picky and increasingly better at defining the context of said nit pickiness Politically speaking I weed out bigotry Narratologically speaking I weed out tropes especially the ones that take reality and normalize the points that bend and break and bleed the individuals who do not fit and there is no one identity that renders said identified immune to committing such actions That s intersectionality for you and it s as much of a bitch as it deconstructs the continued existence of that delightfully apt yet horrifically spacegoating phraseLike other books I ve read in my continued project of rearranging my most read authors this reading was constantly sta Four Souls picks up where Tracks leaves off and with Fleur Pillager heading to take her revenge on the man Mauser who stole her land I enjoy a ood revenge story and especially one that isn t exactly straightforward I was so happy to have Nanapush back as a narrator and Only a Whisper getting to hear what he was up to as wellWe are also introduced to Polly Elizabeth as a narrator the sister in law of Mauser who is areat contrast to Nanapush Reading this together with Tracks is such a reat and fulfilling experience Both can easily be stand alones but together are also a perfect pair Definitely stories I would love to revisit. Taking possession of their ancestral lands What promises to be a straightforward tale of revenge however slowly metamorphoses into a complex evocation of human nature The story of anger and retribution that begins in Tracks becomes a story of healing and love in Four Sou.
Louise Erdrich º 2 ReadAbout the book but it does noticeably reduce some of its power For what it is worth you also see something of her best writing here with her prose adding to the mystical and inexplicable nature of her plots and ideas This is an idea I m developing as I read of her work and admire of her writing Ask me about it if you are interested at all because I would love to have a discussion about this part of her workSpeaking of her work enerally not long after finishing Four Souls and marvelling in those last 50 lorious pages thank you Margaret I think I have come to the conclusion that the central theme of her book is reconciliation with the self renewal rebirth Which is lovely to read and watch in this book as much as anywhere else If only the journal to that point was a bit developed Recommended but not as your first step into Erdrich She is better and complete elsewhere But that doesn t take away from what is on display here which is nothing less than a mature focused and marvelous writer using all sorts of impressive tools to conjure up original stories and fantastic characters Another wonderful book in the Love Medicine series by Louise Erdrich I thoroughly enjoyed my read of this Four Souls dealt with culture clashes syncretism and strategic code switching and those are some of favourite themes for novels Although I did really race through Four Souls I have some hesitation arises from how this novel doesn t seem to stand up as a standalone I m not sure how you could read this book and find it rich in character development without having previously read Tracks So I recommend first reading Tracks if you re interested in picking up this series That being said I did read Tracks so I loved revisiting familiar faces Nanapush Margaret Fleur Seeing where they are further down the path of life How they have changed since the loss of their land Fleur was definitely a compelling character in Four Souls but I missed her true perspective I felt we were seeing her actions through the eyes of another for the majority of the novel I wanted to be inside her head and understand her motivations and anxieties and I missed that intimate character study However the portions of the novel narrated by Nanapush were even witty and sly than his portion in Tracks He had me laughing out loud as his craftiness unfolding Ultimately whether or not this stands on its own two feet without Tracks it was enjoyable for me and I am so lad I started reading this series Louise Erdrich has created a fictional Ojibwe Indian reservation somewhere in North Dakota populated by a cast of complex characters who we meet again and again as the threads of their stories are woven into a series of interconnected novels that take place over a wide span of years The problem is it can be difficult to know where to start in order to read them in chronological order Maybe it s not all that necessary since THE NARRATIVES SWIRL AROUND AND AROUND FROM BOOK TO narratives swirl around and around from book to like smoke from burning sweet rass It s not easy to pin point exactly when the events are taking place or to keep in mind that sometimes we have moved into the realm of dreams and visions But this is one of the
things I find so fascinating about these books the fact that they take me into a different world where partI find so fascinating about these books the fact that they take me into a different world where part it seems foreign and even a bit magical to me even though it is firmly rounded in the reality of Native American life and culture Louise Erdrich writes with Plain Jane The Hotshot great power about her Ojibwe heritage and way of life She uses its language myths legends and history to create multi dimensional characters whose stories reveal their pain and suffering the injustice they ve suffered their profound respect for nature their strong ties to family and tribe and their determination to survive Four Souls picks up roughly where Tracks left off sometime in the late twenties Having lost the land that belonged to her on the reservation Fleur Pillager sets off in pursuit of the lumber baron who stole it in order wreak her revenge Her story unfolds as told by the sister in law of the lumber baron and Nanapush Fleur s adopted father and tribal elder First of this review is basically of everything Louise Erdrich has written This book is amazing and its spiral we llet there when we Family of Her Dreams get there method of storytelling is storytelling at its best Let me just end this review with a booklover s highest praise after reading this book i went to the library and checked out everything by this auther and have now read half of her books So far none of them have disappointed They don t have to be read in order but if I did it over I wouldo in order the books are written Every one of her books build on each other This woman is a Blackmailed Into the Italians Bed genius and a national treasure I really enjoyed this book from the Erdrich Medicine Readalong happening in Instagram and look forward to the discussion Weet to see Fleur Girls Night Out going off to try toet her land back often through the point of view of her husband s sister and et a much deeper look inside the relationship between Nanapush and Margaret which I loved so much I may have liked this even
better than Tracks Of all the stories that have been told on this little lobe we inhabitthan Tracks Of all the stories that have been told on this little Into the Wild (The McGraws, globe we inhabit are few tales that entice me than stories of revenge and retribution I m not talking the brooding tales of violent stoic men pushed beyond their limit by an underworld that destroys their single shot at happiness but vengeance that takes plotting manipulation and most importantly patience While there s alway. The loss of her family's land to a white man After a dream vision thatives her a powerful new name Four Souls she enters the household of John James Mauser A man notorious for his wealth and his mansion on a hill Mauser became rich by deceiving young Indian women and.