November 2, 2013
Under a Blackberry Moon by Serena B. Miller: a Review
Serena B. Miller's latest release, Under a Blackberry Moon, tells the story of Skypilot and Moon Song -- two people who are friends of Katie Calloway from the first novel in this three-book set. I don't remember Moon Song stumbling into camp with her infant son in that volume, but I do remember Skypilot and the tree falling as he saved the children. While he was down, Moon Song nursed him back to health, so he endeavors to return the favor when she decides to leave the rough, prejudice logging town and return to her people on the upper peninsula of Michigan.
Despite their obvious love for each other, Moon Song turns down Skypilot's proposal because she doesn't believe a white man will remain true through the long haul. This is a story that finds a great deal of basis in reality through the book as a major steamboat accident occurs and the larger story of Moon Song's life is revealed to readers.
This journey through her life provides one of the more interesting plot twists within the book and will keep you guessing right up until the end. Also interesting is a side character with a gift for art who uses this talent to overcome a heartbreaking tragedy.
I'm not sure that this particular volume was as historically interesting as Miller's other books, but I think that is largely because it is more culturally interesting. It focuses so deeply on the Native American culture that it doesn't have to rely on the historical references many other period volumes are....it lives in a land unto itself, and it offers a lot of insight into the Chippewa culture.
Bonus: If you are familiar with the Gordon Lightfoot song "Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald," you may find yourself recognizing elements of this song within the book.
I would definitely recommend this volume to someone looking for an introduction to Serena's works, and it is probably a must if you have read her other Michigan-based books.
Disclosure: I received an eGalley of this book.