Just a few days after she gives birth alone in the Northwoods, a recently widowed young Chippewa woman stumbles into a nearby lumber camp in search of refuge and sustenance. Come summer, the camp owner sends Skypilot, his most trusted friend, to accompany Moon Song and her baby on the long and treacherous journey back to her people. But when tragedy strikes off the shore of Michigan's Upper Peninsula wilderness, Moon Song and Skypilot must depend on each other for survival. With every step they take into the forbidding woods, they are drawn closer together, until the tough questions must be asked. Will she leave her culture to enter his? Will he leave his world to enter hers? Or will they walk away from a love that seems too complicated to last?
With evocative descriptions of a breathtaking landscape, Under a Blackberry Moon will sweep readers into a wild realm where beauty masks danger and only the truly courageous survive, even as the sweet love story along the way tightly grips their hearts.
Miller won a RITA for The Measure of Katie Calloway, and this book features the same characters and setting: the post-Civil War North Woods of Michigan. Moon Song, a young Chippewa woman with a new baby, has found sustenance and friendship among a group of white loggers in Bay City. When she decides to return to her people, Isaac Ross, known as Skypilot from his days as a preacher in pre-Civil War Virginia, accompanies her on the journey. An accident along the way transforms their passage into a struggle for survival. A variety of complications thicken the plot, even as Moon Song and Skypilot slowly realize their mutual attraction. Miller presents a complex backstory for Moon Song that ties itself up too prettily. Her historical research generates a lot of eddies in the narrative flow, and some of those side developments and details slow the main plot engine the growing relationship between the two principal characters. Fans of Jane Kirkpatrick will enjoy Miller's historical recreation.