Four souls : [a novel] / Louise Erdrich.
- 1 of 1 copy available at Kirtland Community College.
0 current holds with 1 total copy.
- ISBN: 0066209757 (acid-free paper)
- Physical Description: 210 p. ; 22 cm.
- Edition: 1st ed.
- Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Publishers, c2004.
Sequel to: Tracks.
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Publishers Weekly Review
Four Souls : A Novel
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Fleur Pillager, one of Erdrich's most intriguing characters, embarks on a path of revenge in this continuation of the Ojibwe saga that began with Tracks. As a young woman, Fleur journeys from her native North Dakota to avenge the theft of her land. In Minneapolis, she locates the grand house of the thief: one John James Mauser, whom she plans to kill. But Fleur is patient and stealthy; she gets herself hired by Mauser's sister-in-law, Polly Elizabeth, as a laundress. Polly acts as the household manager, tending to the invalid Mauser as well as her sister, the flaky and frigid Placide. Fleur upends this domestic arrangement by ensnaring Mauser, who marries her in a desperate act of atonement. Revenge becomes complicated as Fleur herself suffers under its weight: she descends into alcoholism and gives birth to an autistic boy. In Erdrich's trademark style, chapters are narrated by alternating characters-in this case Polly Elizabeth, as well as Nanapush, the elderly man from Tracks, and his wife, Margaret. (Nanapush and Margaret's relationship, and the jealousies and revenge that ensue, play out as a parallel narrative.) More so than in other of Erdrich's books, this tale feels like an insider's experience: without the aid of jacket copy, new readers will have trouble feeling a sure sense of place and time. And Fleur herself-though fascinating-remains elusive. Nevertheless, the rich detail of Indian culture and community is engrossing, and Erdrich is deft (though never heavy-handed) in depicting the struggle to keep this culture alive in the face of North American "progress." The themes of fruitless revenge and redemption are strong here, especially when combined with the pull of her lyrical prose; Erdrich may not ensnare many new readers, but she will certainly satisfy her already significant audience. Agent, Andrew Wylie. (July 2) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Four Souls : A Novel
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
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). Such are Erdrich's storytelling skills that even readers unfamiliar with that book will immediately be drawn into this novel. The decimation of Ojibwe land continues unabated, but the implacable Fleur has decided to exact revenge on one John James Mauser, who has built his wealth by acquiring Ojibwe land through underhanded tactics. She is hired on at his mansion as a laundress, but her plan suffers a setback when she learns that he is ill with a severe muscle disorder; she sets about curing him so that she can wreck him while he is in good condition, but in a bizarre twist, her relationship with Mauser takes a very different turn. Narrated in alternating chapters by aged and comical wise man Nanapush; his visionary, stubborn wife, Margaret; and Mauser's spinster sister-in-law, the novel holds as its central theme the process of transformation, as each character is drawn toward healing and love in the most astonishing fashion. Effortlessly moving between the sacred and the profane, between grotesquerie and transcendence, Erdrich continues to spin her unique and compelling fiction. --Joanne Wilkinson Copyright 2004 Booklist
Library Journal Review
Four Souls : A Novel
(c) Copyright Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Erdrich here returns to her fictional chronicle of modern Native American culture, as exemplified by generations of interrelated North Dakotans, picking up where she ended in Tracks (1988). Although it contains crossover characters and allusions to past events, this work may be read without consulting the earlier work. Taking place several years after World War I and narrated principally by tribal leader Nanapush and Polly Elizabeth, a white woman from the city, the plot focuses on beautiful Ojibwe mystic Fleur Pillager. Adopting the powerful secret name Four Souls, Fleur travels to the urban mansion of her people's great enemy, John Mauser, and plans his execution (first miraculously curing him of a wasting illness). But Fleur's control slips: her peculiar marriage to Mauser and a crippling addiction to alcohol put her on the road again, with a severely damaged son and just two possessions: a luxurious automobile and an exquisite suit. However, once she returns to Matchimanito's lakeshore, these are sufficient means for achieving a kind of triumph. Fleur's story, along with comic subplots involving the narrators, is marked by imagery both poetic and moving, if at times overwrought. Yet the beauty of Erdrich's writing compensates more than adequately for that minor flaw. Recommended for most collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/15/04.]-Starr E. Smith, Fairfax Cty. P.L., VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.