Firekeeper’s Daughter

Firekeeper’s Daughter

by

Angeline Boulley

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Firekeeper’s Daughter: Chapter 56 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
A small boy visits Daunis. The boy’s eyes remind her of Grandpa Lorenzo’s, and he has brown curly hair with strands of copper. Daunis takes the boy’s hand, and a bigger hand appears on top of hers. For a moment, everything is perfect. Daunis wakes up to Jamie’s hand on hers, 12 days after she died on Sugar Island. He apologizes for taking so long to visit; he had to wrap up investigation stuff. They discuss that when Daunis gets out of the hospital tomorrow, she’ll move into a nearby apartment with Mom so she can more easily come to appointments. When Mom goes home, Daunis will stay here.
It's implied that Daunis dreams about her and Jamie’s son in the moments before she wakes to find him in her room. As Daunis explains what comes next for her, it’s telling that she says she’s moving out of Sault Ste. Marie on her own—Mom is finally willing, it seems, to accept that Daunis is an adult and needs some independence. This continues to give Daunis the opportunity to come of age away from her family.
Themes
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Coming of Age Theme Icon
Jamie begins to cry. He apologizes for involving Daunis and for Lily and Uncle David’s deaths. Daunis doesn’t comfort him; he needs to know that investigations have consequences and hurt people. Loving her doesn’t change that he also thought it was okay to use her to boost his career. When he stops crying, Daunis tells Jamie he needs to find his own community. He says he really is Cherokee, and everything they shared felt realer than his real life. Daunis maintains that Jamie isn’t cut out for undercover work, if only because he doesn’t know what’s true and what’s a lie. 
Finally, Jamie seems to fully acknowledge that he might see his job as noble and necessary, but that doesn’t mean that innocent people like Daunis, Lily, and Uncle David don’t get hurt. He must, Daunis implies, learn to think seven generations ahead, or he’ll continue hurting people. Moreover, he also needs to do the work that Daunis has already done and piece together who he is. Only then, she suggests, will he be able to connect healthily with others.
Themes
Justice Theme Icon
Ceremony, Pride, and Healing Theme Icon
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Quotes
Frantically, Jamie says he wants to be with Daunis. They can go to any school she wants and pretend to meet as strangers. He insists that his feelings for her have been real from the beginning, and he can’t find where he came from without her. Daunis knows she wants to be with Jamie—but she also remembers Travis telling Lily that he needed her and couldn’t do it without her. Granny June’s warning that “Things end how they start” also plays through her head. Daunis and Jamie’s relationship started with deception, but Daunis decides to end it with the truth.
As Daunis sees it, Jamie saying that he can’t figure out his identity without her is uncomfortably similar to Travis telling Lily he couldn’t recover from addiction without her there. Love, Daunis has learned over the course of the novel, is healthiest when it’s honest and respectful—which her relationship with Jamie overwhelmingly hasn’t been. Thus, Daunis chooses to end the relationship.
Themes
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
Daunis tells Jamie that she loves him and wants him to find himself, but they both have to do the work to better themselves. They both have to learn to stand on their own, and love means wanting your partner to live a good life, even if you’re not in their life. Jamie sits for a minute and then finally kisses Daunis’s hand and nose. He leaves the room without looking back. Once Daunis has imagined Jamie driving away, she says that they named their son, the boy from her dream, Waabun. That’s the eastern direction. But Daunis realizes she doesn’t know what their son’s last name would be.
When Jamie accepts Daunis’s speech and doesn’t press her, he’s already doing way better than Travis: he respects Daunis’s wishes and seems committed to respecting her in this way, even if he doesn’t take her other advice to figure his own life out. As Daunis realizes she doesn’t know their son’s last name, it reinforces that she made the right choice. Her relationship with Jamie wasn’t based on honesty—as Ron noted at Shagala, Jamie Johnson isn’t a real person.
Themes
Love, Honesty, and Respect Theme Icon
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