Four Souls

foursoulsFour Souls
by Louise Erdrich
2004/ 240 pages
read by Anna Fields 6 h. 40 m.
Rating:  8

After falling in love with Erdrich’s  Love Medicine I decided to listen to try the next novel or two in the “series.”     The reader is Anna Fields who is excellent in spite of a rather pitiful sample on Audible.

I think the books are in backwards order in this Audible recording –  I think I’m listening to Four Souls first and it actually takes place after Tracks.   We’ll see – and I’m not sure it makes much difference.

There are three 1st person narrators here.  The first is the Indian Nanapush who is an important man from Fleur Pillager’s  tribe. He tells the background of Fleur Pillager (aka Four Souls after her mother) who walked from her home on a North Dakota reservation to seek revenge on the lumber baron she blames for the destruction of her people and some of  why Fleur sought revenge.  Later,  he  tells the backstory of how he fell in love and married Margaret Kashpaw (both from Love Medicine) and the horrors of the starvation times.

Another narrator is Polly Elizabeth Gheen,  a spinster who lives with the man Fleur seeks and his wife,  Mr. and Mrs. Mauser,  in a large home near Minneapolis.   Fleur is hired as a laundress for the family and that starts the frame plot.

The third narrator is Margaret Rushes Bear, Nanapush’s wife, who tells her side of the story of her dancing dress as well as more her relationship with Fleur.

The tale alternates between these points of view as well as time frames.  Fortunately,  although the changes are mentioned, Fields, the reader,  makes the difference easy.

The themes are the difficulties of American Indians,  love and revenge,  love medicines (of all sorts) and ghosts.

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