A review by samanthadoyle
Daughters of the Deer, by Danielle Daniel

challenging dark reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes


I enjoyed this novel. It was deeply engaging and its blunt prose suited the characters. I found myself wishing for a slightly different ending however. It was sad (which is appropriate), however, the author tried to add some beauty to the tragedy, but it fell flat for me personally.

I’m glad I read this book. My primary focus in Indigenous literature is the voices of Indigenous people who have experienced the more modern genocide and it’s repercussions. I do however think that there is a place for these narratives too - so many Canadians have distantly removed Indigenous ancestry and it is such a shame that it was suppressed and stolen. It is a loss, albeit of a different magnitude. It also had me thinking about who should write these types of stories. I did find it slightly uncomfortable that the author used the first person for the most Indigenous character. But who else should tell the story of cultural assimilation if not those who descend from it? Lots of thoughts and no answers.

I will say that I’m going back to focusing on modern Indigenous voices. They should be the main course, while this novel makes for a thought provoking side dish.