"Four Souls" by Louise Erdrich
Four Souls is a story of revenge and its unintended consequences. It centers around Fleur Pillager, an Ojibwe Indian who seeks revenge against John James Mauser, a lumber baron whom she holds responsible for the loss of Indian land and the destruction of the forest in northern Minnesota. Although Four Souls is part of a series and the reader would understand a lot of the story better if he or she had read the earlier books, the book can be read, understood, and appreciated on its own.
The story is told by three characters - Nanapush, a tribal elder, Margaret Kashpaw, Nanapush's common law Indian wife and Polly Elizabeth Gheen, the spinster sister-in-law of John Hauser. Fleur is not the only one whose emotions lead to actions with unintended consequences. Nanapush and Margaret seem to be out to destroy each other even though they actually love each other very much. Fleur's vengeance verges on self destruction.
The story is hauntingly beautiful, shocking, heartbreaking, and funny. It takes the reader through the twists and turns and the ups and downs of life. People are wealthy. They lose everything. People we dislike at first meeting we come to love. It is the story of life itself, beautifully told.
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