Saturday, March 6, 2010
Author: Garth Stein
Publisher: Harper Collins
Format: Finished book
Price:14.99, 445 pages
Release Date: March 9, 2010
You may be familiar with Garth Stein from his writing of the New York Times best seller The Art of Racing in the Rain, but did you know that Mr. Stein wrote a couple of books well before that one, one of which we'll be discussing today. Due to the overwhelming success of Racing in the Rain, the publisher thought it a good idea to release a new addition of Raven Stole The Moon. Lucky for us that they did. If you missed the book the first time around as I did, you certainly don't want to pass up your chance to read it again. Let's start with the blurb on the book.
When Jenna Rosen abandons her comfortable Seattle life to visit Wrangell, Alaska, it's a wrenching return to her past. The hometown of her Native American grandmother, Wrangell is located near the Thunder Bay resort, where Jenna's young son, Bobby disappeared two years before. His body was never recovered, and Jenna is determined to lay to rest the aching mystery of his death. But whispers of ancient legends begin to suggest a frightening new possibility about Bobby's fate, and Jenna must sift through the beliefs of her ancestors, the Tlingit, who still tell of powerful, menacing forces at work in the Alaskan wilderness.
Armed with nothing but a mother's ferocious protective instincts, Jenna's quest for the truth about her son--and the strength of her beliefs--is about to pull her into a terrifying and life-changing abyss.
This story consisted of so many delicious little layers for the reader to discover. On the surface, it's a mystery that seeks to gain answers to the questions surrounding the death of the young child Bobby. Interspersed throughout that mystery is the tale of a woman and two men trying to find connection with another and at the same time, trying to understand and discover themselves.
After the death of their son, the marriage of Jenna and Robert Rosen takes a distinct turn for the worse. She needs time alone to sort things through. When Jenna leaves town unexpectedly, and finds herself in her hometown, the stakes are raised for everyone. She meets a sensitive and lonely fisherman named Eddie by happenstance. Her husband sends out a private investigator to track her down and finds himself on the way to Alaska hoping it's not too late to save his marriage.
Jenna is not going to let anyone stop her from finding out what really happened to their son. She encounters mystical incidents that leave her wondering if they're real or the product of an imagination run wild from grief, weariness or too many old folk tales.
This book is a literary jewel. The story was fresh, different and totally unexpected. Not only was it an intriguing, poignant read, but the reader learns about another culture, one I'm sure is not familiar to the American public at large. Garth Stein has Tlingit ties in his maternal bloodline.
What I found especially well done, was the weaving of supernatural elements into a story that was solidly based in the real world. It was so seamless, it made the impossible sound plausible. The mark of an well-skilled storyteller.
There were several laugh out loud moments as well as a part to make you cry.
I was deeply impressed with this book. It was much more than I expected and was quite the page turner. More than once, I had to force myself not to peak to find out how it ends, or get my questions answered of which there were many.
You've got to read this book. You're going to love it!