Firekeeper’s Daughter

Firekeeper’s Daughter

by

Angeline Boulley

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Firekeeper’s Daughter: Chapter 41 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Daunis walks ahead of Grant to the hotel. She decides that she’ll let him tell her what he knows and then alert Jamie and Ron if need be. They get into the side elevators—Grant doesn’t want to be seen with Daunis. Daunis thinks about Jamie on the elevator ride up and then refocuses: she’ll say she was in his office to take photos of Grandpa Lorenzo’s furniture. She’d like to buy the furniture back. But when Grant opens his room, Daunis is shocked. It’s a normal room, not the Edwardses’ usual suite. Suddenly, Grant shoves Daunis face-first onto the bed and says that “hockey girls” are his weakness. Daunis wonders if he harassed Robin, too. But Daunis has no leverage to fight back. She watches from above as Grant rapes her.
Daunis is far more focused on the investigation than on her safety—and despite Grant’s predatory behavior recently, she doesn’t seem to truly see him as legitimately threatening until he rapes her. This mirrors the way that Daunis continues to ignore the disturbing evidence beginning to pile up against Levi, and it raises the question of what crime he must commit before Daunis is willing to see it. Being raped in general, meanwhile, highlights Daunis’s powerlessness as a woman. Her involvement in the investigation, her admittance into the Tribe, and other identity markers or affiliations don’t change the fact that Grant primarily sees her as a vulnerable target. 
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
As Daunis takes the elevator back down, she combs her hair and blinks until it seems like nothing happened. She rejoins Jamie in the ballroom and tells Jamie she wants to dance. Daunis lets herself get lost in the music. When the DJ cues up a drumbeat for an honor song, she giggles at Jamie’s awed expression. Though Daunis can’t dance, she holds Dad’s choker up. Stormy, a wolf dancer, dances next to Daunis, and nearby Zhaaganaash men whoop back at him—they don’t get the dance’s significance. As Levi dances toward Daunis, Daunis feels lucky to have such a great brother. During the next slow dance, Jamie tries to kiss Daunis’s shoulder. She jerks away, unwilling to tell him what Grant did. He helps her put Dad’s choker on, and Daunis imagines she’s a kid dancing with her dad again.
Even if Daunis can’t dance (because she’s not dancing for a year to honor Uncle David and Lily), the honor dance still helps her feel a little more whole after the trauma she just experienced. That she turns to Jamie (as she did after Mike kissed her without her consent) in this situation also suggests that she genuinely trusts him to care for her, despite their relationship’s questionably honest beginnings. Finally, when Daunis marvels at how great Levi is, she explicitly rejects what she’s seen that suggests Levi isn’t all that great and TJ’s story of a threatening, dangerous Levi. Her familial loyalty overrides her own observations.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Family and Community Theme Icon
As Shagala winds down, Daunis tells Jamie she wants to go home, not to Levi’s after-party. When they pass Macy exiting the restroom, Daunis pushes Macy back into the restroom and growls at her to never be alone with Grant Edwards. Jamie asks about Daunis’s behavior when they’re safely in the truck, but Daunis refuses to say anything. Thinking back on what Grant and Mrs. Bailey said, Daunis is certain Grant harassed Robin. She tells Jamie to park so they can talk.
Daunis and Macy might not get along, but Daunis still feels a responsibility to protect other women in her community from aggressors like Grant. She also feels like she must share with Jamie some of what she learned during her assault, suggesting that for now, she’s coping with the trauma by trying to help others.
Themes
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
In her head, Daunis thinks about how the conversation will go: she’ll tell Jamie that Grant is involved with the meth cell and at least helped get Robin addicted to painkillers. She knows because he offered to get her something for her shoulder right before he raped her. And after, he squeezed her shoulder and said he could make it stop hurting, laughed, and said Daunis will be back for more, just like Robin. Jamie will tell Daunis that she was stupid to go to a hotel room with Grant, and he’ll ask her why she didn’t she scream or fight back. Daunis notices that her imagined Jamie voice sounds just like her own. She realizes she can’t tell Jamie.
Daunis is berating herself and closing herself off to any comfort or support Jamie would probably be willing to provide—there’s no evidence he’d blame her for the sexual assault, and sexual assault is, of course, never the victim’s fault. However, her memory reveals that Grant is at the very least involved in distributing prescription opioids, seemingly illegally, in the Sault. Opioids and meth are entirely different types of drugs, however, suggesting that though Grant is doing something illegal, he’s likely not involved in the meth cell.
Themes
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Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
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Remembering her conversation with Ron earlier, Daunis asks for Jamie’s real name. He refuses to give it and says that it’s safer for her not to know. Furious, Daunis notes that confidential informants risk injury or death. She says that Jamie read up on her before he started on the investigation, and he knew Uncle David’s death was suspicious. He knew he had things in common with Daunis, and she’d like to know whose idea it was to bring her on. Before Jamie can say anything, Daunis punches him in the nose for endangering her. Just then, Ron drives into the parking lot. Daunis swings at Jamie again, misses, and is suddenly back in the hotel room with Grant when she hits the ground. Terrified, she punches and kicks until Ron helps her up. Ron fires Jamie, but Jamie asks what happened to Daunis. Daunis says that Jamie happened to her. 
It’s especially infuriating for Daunis when Jamie cites her safety as his reason for not sharing his real name. She was just raped, after all—so clearly her safety is in jeopardy, no matter what she does or doesn’t know about Jamie or the investigation. Rather than give Jamie an opportunity to fess up, though, Daunis punches first. This makes her feel briefly empowered, but this feeling disappears as soon as she flashes back to the assault. Her flashback—a trauma response—betrays how shaken she is, even as she tries to hide it. Now, she can’t ignore how vulnerable she and other women like her are.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Generational Trauma and Bigotry Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon