Synopses & Reviews
A strange and compelling unkillable woman decides to leave home, and the story begins. Fleur Pillager takes her mother's name, Four Souls, for strength and walks from her Ojibwe reservation to the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. She is seeking restitution from and revenge on the lumber baron who has stripped her reservation. But revenge is never simple, and she quickly finds her intentions complicated by her own dangerous compassion for the man who wronged her.
The two narrators of Four Souls are from utterly different worlds. Nanapush, a smart man and a fool, is both Fleur's savior and her conscience. He tells Fleur's story and tells his own. He would like a calm and discriminating love with his sweetheart, Margaret. He is old and would like to face death with his love beside him. Instead the two find themselves battling out their last years. When the childhood nemesis of Nanapush appears and casts his eye toward Margaret, Nanapush acts out an absurd revenge of his own and nearly ends up destroying everything. The other narrator, Polly Elizabeth Gheen, is a pretentious and vulnerable upper-crust fringe element, a hanger-on in a wealthy Minneapolis family, a woman aware of her precarious hold on those around her. To her own great surprise the entrance of Fleur Pillager into her household and her life effects a transformation she could never have predicted.
In the world of interconnected novels by Louise Erdrich, Four Souls is most closely linked to Tracks. All these works continue and elaborate the intricate story of life on a reservation peopled by saints and false saints, heroes and sinners, clever fools and tenacious women. Four Souls reminds us of the deepspirituality and the ordinary humanity of this world, and is as beautiful and lyrical as anything Louise Erdrich has written.
“Great originality and charm.” Entertainment Weekly
“Powerful and haunting.” Michiko Kakutani, New York Times
“FOUR SOULS juxtaposes … the ribald and the elegiac.” Atlantic Monthly
“Vividly evoked …A welcome addition, then, to a uniquely enthralling and important American story.” Kirkus Reviews
“Fleurs story, along with comic subplots involving the narrators, is marked by imagery both poetic and moving.” Library Journal
“Stunning flights of lyricism.” San Francisco Chronicle Book Review
After taking her mother's name, Four Souls, for strength, the strange, compelling Fleur Pillager walks from her Ojibwe reservation to the cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. She seeks restitution from and revenge on the lumber baron who has stripped her reservation. But revenge is never simple, and her intentions are complicated by her dangerous compassion for the man who wronged her.
This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
About the Author
Louise Erdrich lives with her family in Minnesota and is the owner of Birchbark Books, an independent bookstore. Ms. Erdrich is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, and this story—which will, in the end, span one hundred years in the life of an Ojibwe woman—was inspired when Ms. Erdrich and her mother, Rita Gourneau Erdrich, were researching their own family history. Chickadee
begins a new part of the story that started with The Birchbark House
, a National Book Award finalist; The Game of Silence
, winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction; and the acclaimed The Porcupine Year
Ms. Erdrich is also the bestselling author of many critically acclaimed novels for adults, including the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Plague of Doves and National Book Award finalist The Last Report on the Miracles at Little No Horse. She is also the author of the picture book Grandmother's Pigeon, illustrated by Jim LaMarche.