The Fall Of White City (Victorian Chicago Mystery Series Book 1) yDle 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 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 by greedy 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 him 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 good 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 Nonetheless 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 about the book but it does noticeably reduce some of its power For what it is worthou 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 Please Dont Tickle The Tiger you are interested at all because I would love to have a discussion about this part of her workSpeaking of her work generally not long after finishing Four Souls and marvelling in those last 50 glorious pages thankou 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 our 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 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 " by a cast of complex characters who we meet again and again the threads of their stories are woven into a series of interconnected novels that take place over a wide span of ears 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 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 and even a bit me into a different world where part of it seems foreign and even a bit magical me even it is firmly grounded in the reality of Native American life and culture Louise Erdrich writes with 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 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 ears 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 tol. 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. ,
There is no one identity that renders said identified immune to committing such actions That s intersectionality for ou and it s as much of a bitch as it deconstructs the continued existence of that delightfully apt Laurus 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 uotes 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 two tropes 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 countryards 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 unread of whom I own copies of variegated works I m hoping this ll help with my reception down the 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 ear 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 us uick tuberculosis killed us slow liuor made us religion meddled with our souls but the bureaucrats did the worst and finally bored us to death 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 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 up to as wellWe are also introduced to Polly Elizabeth as a narrator the sister in law This 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 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 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 withside by side with mysticism Describing earthy vulgarities and cruelties in poetry The last couple of pages are filled with summarizing individual and cultural loss so perfectly with such pain and 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 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 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 Unexpected romances and storylines which each bring to mind old storylines from older books and open up new for future books A not too heavy moral hand but a good awareness of morality A great sense of humour And we even get 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 gets 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 only 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 get to understand almost understand by a bun. 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 oung Indian women and. .
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 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 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 underworld 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 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 ouths 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 " which we now to be PTSD acuired while serving in France during the Great War the 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 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 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 at giving as much grief as she receives or seeking to preserve the borders of the Ojibwe reservation from death by a thousand seeking to preserve
the borders of the Ojibwe reservation from death by a thousand papercuts Sagacious and buffoonish oftenborders of the Ojibwe reservation from death by a thousand papercuts Sagacious and buffoonish often 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 using 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 ear 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 Rumunia. Koniec złotej epoki 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 onceou finish Simply Irresistible (Girl Friends you may findourself running to our 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. 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.