Serena Miller has titled her new book Under a Blackberry Moon, and has succeeded in writing a story that is both fun to read and educational. I was interested to read her descriptions of the lifestyle of the Indians and pioneers of the 1860's in Michigan and the problems they faced.
Even though this was book two of the series, I never felt like I should have read book one first. However, I will read it as soon as I can get it; Under a Blackberry Moon was that good!
The story is written around Moon Song, a beautiful Indian girl with a very young baby boy; and Skypilot, a young man from the South. Moon Song and "Skypilot" are traveling on a steamboat to take Moon Song back to her people after the death of her husband, when the boat they are sailing in blows up. They - along with a white lady, Isabella - are the only survivors. However, in order to save themselves, they must make their way many miles back to civilization. How are two white people who have never lived "off the land" going to survive? Only with the help of a native Indian girl who has spent most of her life learning the skills that will mean their survival.
Ms. Miller describes the plight of the Indian tribes of this area as they were tricked into selling their land, and thus their means of survival, to the white man to occupy and mine for copper.
This is a book well worth reading and keeping for both the story and the historical information it contains. Ms. Miller has done a superior job accurately portraying the problems that both the white and Indian people faced. Her research and attention to details of life for these diverse groups of people living more than a century and a half ago not only make the story more interesting, but also educational. The unusual title Under a Blackberry Moon, will help you remember this book by Serena Miller.
I enjoy reading historical fiction and when I learn that the story has historical truths woven in it really brings the story to life for me. "Under a Blackberry Moon" is the story of Moon Song and Skypilot. Moonsong was married to a white man and lived far from her tribe, when her husband dies she finds herself with a new baby alone, she finds her way to a logging camp where they take care of her, and when she decides to return home to her family it's Isaac Ross also known as Skypilot who decides to see her safely home. When something happens and they find themselves traipsing thru the wilderness will they be able to survive, and what about the feeling that are developing, is there any chance that love could work between them?
A riveting story where not only the characters come to life but the scenery as well. It was easy to imagine the difficulties that the characters faced. They characters were easy to connect with and Moon Song especially was someone that I found myself drawn to. The historical aspects of the story were very well done, the author brings to light the plight of Native Americans during this time period. Overall, I was drawn to the book because of the pretty cover but what I found inside was a historical story that was a bit unique because it revolved around a Native American heroine. An adventure to be certain, where the ending was sort of like I expected but still made for a satisfying read.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided for review.
Serena B. Miller shows readers another perspective of life in 1860s Michigan in "Under a Blackberry Moon." Moon Song and Skypilot are intriguing characters in "The Measure of Katie Calloway," and they have plenty of past and present experiences to fill the pages of their own novel. Although two of her previous books are set in Michigan as well, "Under a Blackberry Moon" ventures into the rugged wilds of the state and into Native American villages. I enjoy the fresh historical perspective that Miller brings into the plot with topics ranging from the dangers of early steamship travel to the plight of Native Americans.
Moon Song is a refreshing departure from the traditional heroines. As a Native American, she faces prejudices and misconceptions from strangers and even her close friends. Skypilot cares for and protects Moon Song from the beginning of the novel, but views her like an innocent and incapable child. Some of Moon Song's conversations and observations paint her into a more child-like character, so it is easy to view her as younger than her years. Throughout their shared adventure, she proves that she is a strong and brave woman and Skypilot begins to view her as such in his mind and heart. The romance is more about Skypilot's acceptance of Moon Song as a woman and Native American. The love story feels a little one-sided at times. It is clear that Skypilot desires marriage and is willing to work through the barriers to build a life together. While Moon Song shares his love, she doesn't seem as vested in a relationship. I like both characters, but I don't feel a complete emotional connection with them. Other parts also fall a bit flat for me as well. Moon Song's conversion to Christianity and her reconciliation with her past are pivotal events that are rushed at the end of the novel. Overall, "Under a Blackberry Moon" is a pleasant read with themes of love and acceptance and glimpses into a small segment of American history.
"Available October 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group."
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising
Moon Song is a young Chippewa widow who days after giving birth finds her way into a lumber camp. She spends the winter there and makes friends with Isaac Ross, known as Skypilot. When the summer arrives, the owner of the camp understands that for her own protection, Moon Song and her baby son need to be sent back to her people. Skypilot is asked to accompany her. While on the journey North, tragedy strikes and what was supposed to be a simple journey is now wrought with peril. As they travel together, both realize they have come to love the other. But there are obstacles in their way. Will she be forced to give up her world to live in his? Or will he give up his world to live in hers? Will they ever share the same faith?
Wow! That's really all I can say about this book. It started off rather slow, but things picked up when the tragedy struck Moon Song and Skypilot. The scenery in this book is truly breathtaking. And the way that the author has captured both of their struggles had me hoping that some way some how, the two would end up together.
Skypilot showed a strength in character that I've not seen a lot in the heroes of the books. He was determined to live his faith out. And to do all he could to obtain the trust of Moon Song's people. Moon Song for her part showed me a way of life I'm really not familiar with. The way that she went out of her way to ensure that her companions were able to survive showed the depth of her character as well.
There were many times while reading this book that I was reminded of a classic from my childhood, Island of the Blue Dolphins. I also was reminded at times of Jeanette Oke's book Drums of Change. It's been a long time since I've read either of those, but I was able to remember the struggles for survival that occurred in both books.
I really wasn't expecting to like this book the way that I did. Typically when a book starts off slow, I find myself having a hard time getting into it.
I received this book for free from Revell Books for the purpose of reviewing. My thoughts and opinions are my own.
Recommended to fans of Laura Frantz, Joanne Bischof, Jody Hedlund, historical fiction
Rating - 5 stars - It truly wowed me.
Available in October, 2013 from Revell Books a division of Baker Publishing Group.
This story is fascinating! Moon Song is such a strong character and Skypilot is a man to admire. It was amazing to read about Moon Song's strength and ingenuity and to learn more about her Chippewa heritage. There is so much adventure in this story. It felt almost epic as not only is there a romance, but also the story of the interactions between the Chippewa and the white man. I was already familiar with some of it, but also learned a lot. I liked that Skypilot's struggle over loving someone of a different faith was shown and how it was dealt with. If you like historical fiction, you should definitely check it out!
I received this book free from Revell in exchange for an honest review.