Raven Stole the Moon
“Deeply moving, superbly crafted, and highly unconventional.” —Washington Times
Raven Stole the Moon is the stunning first novel from Garth Stein, author of the phenomenal New York Times bestseller The Art of Racing in the Rain.
A profoundly poignant and unforgettable story of a grieving mother’s return to a remote Alaskan town to make peace with the loss of her young son, Raven Stole the Moon combines intense emotion with Native American mysticism and a timeless and terrifying mystery, and earned raves for a young writer and his uniquely captivating imagination.
When Jenna Rosen abandons her comfortable Seattle life to visit Wrangell, Alaska, it’s a wrenching return to her past. The old home 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. Jenna is desperate for answers, and she appeals to a Tlingit shaman to help her sort fact from myth, and face the unthinkable possibilities head-on. 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....
In this unpredictable and absorbing debut, Stein intriguingly blurs the line between legend and conventional reality. Two years ago in a remote Alaskan village, Jenna Rosen's five-year-old son, Bobby, fell out of a boat and drowned, and Jenna was unable to save him. Unable to come to terms with her grief, Jenna leaves her husband in Seattle and returns to the site of the tragedy. Once there, she encounters an assortment of sinisterly quirky characters and learns much about the Indian part of her heritage. She soon comes to a startling conclusion: either she's losing her mind, or her son's soul has been abducted by the kushtaka--Tlingit spirits that are half man, half otter--and can be rescued only by a shaman. As Jenna seeks both to lay her son's soul to rest and to quiet her own guilt and grief, Stein weaves a moving tale that ably charts the gaps between rationalistic and animistic worldviews. Certain elements of the Tlingit legends may remind readers of Dracula lore: human blood breaks kushtaka spells; domestic dogs are their enemies. Occasional shifts to present-tense narration are jarring intrusions, but, for most of the novel, Stein's restrained prose is a good vehicle for Jenna's examination of the nature of religious faith and belief. FYI: Stein, a documentary filmmaker, is the great-grandson of a Tlingit Indian.
Good story. Made me want to stay up and read more when I could barely keep my eyes open. This is the 2nd book I have read by Stein and I really love they way he writes. Very easy to read and follow.
Just awesome book it draws you in like a pretty women does in hope for a kiss from her lips and smack you across the face love the book