Sunday, August 8, 2010

Four Souls ~ and ~ Four Spirits

Four Souls ~ by Louise Erdrich, 2004
I picked up this book a few days ago, intrigued first by the cover and then by the first paragraph inside the dust jacket:
"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."
Four Spirits ~ by Sena Jeter Naslund, 2003
Four Souls reminded me of Four Spirits, a book already on my bookshelf.  Four Spirits is set in Sena Jeter Naslund's home city of Birmingham, Alabama, a city that in the 1960s was known as Bombingham, site of some really brutal attempts to quash the Civil Rights movement.  This book is dedicated to Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley, the four girls who were killed at church in Birmingham in September 1963.

These are very different novels by two well-known authors, but I have them both now beside my bed.  I've already started reading Fleur Pillager's story about being wronged in the North.  I'll follow it by reading about wrongs in the South.  We white Americans don't have a good record of dealing with people of color, do we?

Have you read The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis (published in 1995)?  It's an excellent book that I should re-read and review.  Interestingly, the Barnes & Noble page for this book shows four other YA (young adult) books I consider excellent:
Bud, Not Buddy ~ by Christopher Paul Curtis
Maniac Magee ~ by Jerry Spinelli
Hatchet ~ by Gary Paulsen
Number the Stars ~ by Lois Lowry
If you've never read YA books, these are five that could get you addicted.

No comments: