Firekeeper’s Daughter

Firekeeper’s Daughter

by

Angeline Boulley

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Firekeeper’s Daughter: Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Lily falls to her back. Travis says something to Daunis, but she can’t hear him—she can only hear the blast as Travis shoots himself in the temple. Daunis is certain she’ll wake up in a minute and return to the barn, where she’ll tell Jamie all her secrets. Jamie appears, calmly checks Lily’s pulse, and then looks up with a sigh. Noticing Daunis, he ushers her into the truck and shushes her as she says “secrets” and “stranger.” Daunis is certain that Jamie isn’t who he says he is.
Lily, not Daunis, dies in the altercation, and Travis takes his own life moments later. This is traumatizing and surreal for Daunis, especially when Jamie reacts so coolly to violent murder. This leads Daunis to suspect that Jamie isn’t actually a high school student, though it’s not yet clear who or what, exactly, he might be.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Jamie drives back the way they came, pulling over once so Daunis can vomit. He says there was nothing he could do for Lily. On her knees, Daunis remembers Uncle David telling her to piece together what she knows. In this case, she knows Lily is dead, that Jamie is lying about how he got his scar, and that Jamie doesn’t like answering questions. Jamie also checked Lily’s pulse like a first responder and responded to the firecrackers like a police officer or soldier would. Then it clicks: Jamie is a police officer. Daunis tells Jamie she knows he’s an officer and then runs from him, bound for Auntie’s house. But Jamie pursues Daunis and says she can’t involve Auntie.
Daunis continues to remember and honor Uncle David by leaning so heavily on his advice and reminding herself what he’d do. In this sense, her family—deceased and living—guides her to the realization that Jamie isn’t who he said he is. Notably, Jamie doesn’t deny that he’s a police officer and indeed, seems to behave exactly like one might expect an officer to behave. Learning this contributes to how traumatizing this evening is, as Daunis didn’t just lose her best friend—she’s also losing a guy she was beginning to develop feelings for.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
Furious, Daunis threatens to run into the woods; she knows them, and Jamie doesn’t. But is that true? She didn’t tell him where Auntie lives, after all. He insists on taking Daunis home to Mom and promises to talk. In the truck, he confirms that he’s an undercover officer and implies that Ron is his supervisor, not his uncle. By now, they’re in line for the ferry with dozens of other kids who all look dazed. The ferry pulls in with a bunch of law enforcement vehicles, and the kids all drive onto the ferry. Daunis checks her phone; she has texts from Mom, Levi, and one from Lily. She says she needs to call Granny June, but Jamie tells Daunis not to—she shouldn’t talk to anyone right now.
It’s wildly unsettling for Daunis to realize that Jamie is a police officer, as she has no idea how much he knows about her, the Sault, Sugar Island, or anything else about her home and community. This feels like something of a violation, especially when Jamie tells her not to talk to anyone. By doing so, even if it’s for her own safety or for some other important reason, Jamie isolates Daunis from her community—the very people from whom Daunis wants support, and who Daunis wants to support in turn.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
As TJ approaches the car, Jamie asks for Daunis’s license and says he’ll talk. When TJ sees Daunis’s license, he leans down and asks if she’s okay. Daunis remembers him saying he loved her during sex, but she nods and stays silent. TJ tells Jamie to take Daunis home. A city officer escorts Jamie and Daunis to Daunis’s house. Before they get to the door, Jamie tells Daunis to stay quiet—he’ll explain things later. Mom pulls Daunis and then Jamie into a hug when she opens the door, and Daunis vows to herself to get answers from Jamie.
As Daunis struggles to process Lily and Travis’s deaths and her revelation about Jamie, she also relives some past trauma—memories of sex with TJ seem at least uncomfortable, if not downright traumatizing for Daunis. Still, TJ seems to know that Daunis needs her family and community to feel better, hence making sure that Jamie takes Daunis straight home to Mom.
Themes
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
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