READ × eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF Æ Louise ErdrichN 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 pon 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 nrepentant monster that she has come to do battle with is none too intimidating in person Wracked by an nnamed 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 convalescent gripped by fierce muscle spasms and ceaseless insomnia There s no satisfaction in murdering a helpless invalid so Fleur takes it pon 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 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 ite adept at giving as much grief 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 once 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 sing every shred of his 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 reads just as well as a stand alone novel and one need not be familiar with any of 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 p her other books I really enjoyed this book from the Erdrich Medicine Readalong happening in Instagram and look forward to the discussion We get to see Fleur going off to try to get her land back often through the point of view of her husband s sister and get 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 First of this review is basically of everything Louise Erdrich has written This book is amazing and its spiral we ll get there when we 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 would go in order the books are written Every one of her books build on each other This woman is a genius and a national treasure 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 TheMaybe it s not all that necessary since the swirl around and around from book to book like smoke from burning sweet grass 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 part of it seems foreign. The loss of her family's land to a white man After a dream vision that gives 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. Four Souls picks p where Tracks
LEAVES OFF AND WITH FLEUR PILLAGERoff and with Fleur Pillager to take her revenge on the man Mauser who stole her land I enjoy a good revenge story and especially one that isn t exactly straightforward I was so happy to have Nanapush back as a narrator and getting to hear what he was p to as wellWe are also introduced to Polly Elizabeth as a narrator the sister in law of Mauser who is a great contrast to Nanapush Reading this together with Tracks is such a great and fulfilling experience Both can easily be stand alones but together are also a perfect pair Definitely stories I would love to revisit 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 stalked by Tracks its chronological predecessor in my reading history Thanks to it I expected certain things an engaging narratives four or five thought inspiring otes a pathos that was neither sentimental nor patronizing but involved true respect for a true remembrance of what should never be forgotten I got bits and pieces of it all including a hint of housebound gothic that I would love to write a paper
About But Ultimately Twobut ltimately two interfered with this the Neuroatypical Wunderkind and the Man in the Dress Rigamarole aka ableism and transmisogyny I see the revenge plot and the healing and all the bloody and death defying things that are done to fulfill both the killing and the life of such phrases while the slow sordid beast of colonialism rolls on courthouses and country yards but when all of this hinges on turning points of dehumanization its leaves me wondering what the point of a revenge plot is if it spawns an endless wave of justified massacre in its wakeThis last few weeks or so have been a tad monotonous with all the attention I ve been paying to solely those I ve encountered before so I m switching gears to chase down the nread of whom I own copies of variegated works I m hoping this ll help with my reception down the nread of whom I own copies of variegated works I m hoping this ll help with my reception down line of those I ve encountered before as it seems that my past insistence of never sticking with an author for than one book within a five year span had its logic amidst its guise of a habit I don t have any other books by Erdrich on hand but that s what lightning strike inspiration and library sales are for Smallpox ravaged The Year of Living Biblically usick tuberculosis killed s slow liuor made s religion meddled with our souls but the bureaucrats did the worst and finally bored s to death Of all the stories that have been told on this little globe we inhabit there 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 nderworld that destroys their single shot at happiness but vengeance that takes plotting manipulation and most importantly patience While there s always room for a grim faced avenger tossing murderous thugs through plate glass windows the revenge stories that grip me are those who play the long 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 For the Love of All Thats Holy, Dont Buy a Boat When Venus is in Retrograde untouched forests and an island in the center of a lake said to house thensettled 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 ru. 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. And even a bit magical to me
Even Though It Is Firmly Inthough it firmly
grounded in reality of Native American life and culture Louise Erdrich writes with great powerin reality of Native American life and culture Louise Erdrich writes with great power her Ojibwe heritage and way of life She Scary Stories 3 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 picksp 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 nfolds as told by the sister in law of the lumber baron and Nanapush Fleur s adopted father and tribal elder who is also dealing with his own desire to revenge a long time enemy Although the parallel narratives deal with the same themes love abandonment betrayal revenge jealously and regret it s the story and the character of old Nanapush part medicine man part trickster part wisdom figure that is most compelling It s hard not to like him and his bungling attempts at winning the love of the headstrong old woman he s lived with and fought with for so many years For all his wise cracking self deprecating humor he s the one that sees most clearly into the heart and soul of his people The novel is a haunting reflection on what he has seen there This is an especially good book to listen to rather than read because like all good stories part of the magic comes from hearing it as it s being told 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 p 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 The Bartender 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 andnderstand 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 Tono Bungay unfolding Ultimately whether or not this stands on its own two feet without Tracks it was enjoyable for me and I am so glad I started reading this series A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of finishing another novel by Louise Erdrich Sadly I am only just now getting a chance to sit down and work through the wizardry of her work As expected I am coming away with a 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 stand 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 grace Long live Louise Erdrich What a vision what voices Astounding This was aite a short but beautifully written book about revenge but with an Magical Sweet Mermaid unexpected change of heart and anplifting 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 a great 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 The Choice understanding of them Now I need to read all of the author s Love Medicine works preferably in order. 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.