Just a few days after she gives birth alone in the Northwoods, a recently widowed young Ojibwe 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?
I read Serena Miller’s The Measure of Katie Calloway some time ago and don’t remember much of it. I wasn’t very impressed by it. I decided to give the author another chance and read Under a Blackberry Moon. This novel uses many of the same characters in The Measure of Katie Calloway.
Moon Song and Skypilot are the two main characters. Moon Song was such a strong, memorable character that I was impressed with her within the first few chapters. She was sweet and smart and headstrong. But she also knew when to let Skypilot lead.
Skypilot, on the other hand, was not introduced into the novel as an extremely strong person. He loved the comforts that money could afford, which the book pointed out clearly in the beginning. There were also a few other things that lowered my opinion of him within the first third of the book. I believe that Moon Song was just so very strong he paled at first. However, the author does a remarkable job of giving him more strength in the reader’s eyes at just the time where I was about to give up on him.
This book, for me, is unique, in that I firmly believed when I was a third of the way through it that I was just going to give it three stars. Almost always, when I determine how many stars I’m going to give a book I stick with that rating. However, as I read on, my opinion changed. Skypilot endeared himself especially to me when he decided to prove his love for Moon Song in the most sacrificing and humbling of ways. He quickly became one of my favorite characters I’ve read about for a long time. Which surprised me greatly.
I did not think that Serena Miller was very talented in the romance department. But she proved me wrong. What Skypilot did in order to have his beloved Moon Song was romantic and beautiful. The author also did a credible job of portraying the gospel in Under a Blackberry Moon. She could of gone deeper in some places, but she did well in portraying Moon Song’s struggle within herself as she dealt with accepting the Jesus that the white men told her of or sticking with her own religion.
Under a Blackberry Moon is also told with much historical detail. I read the Author’s Note in the back and was surprised at just how much the author had incorporated of history into her novel. One thing I found strange about this novel was the title. Under a Blackberry Moon is an interesting title. Also, the Blackberry Moon is explained in the book. But it was never quite explained why it was in the title.
This book has been difficult to rate. I didn’t much care for the beginning third of the novel. But I really, really liked Moon Song. Skypilot became a special favorite after he showed his love for her. The ending was especially satisfying. I definitely encourage history and romance lovers alike to read this book.
I give Under a Blackberry Moon 4 out of 5 stars.
*I received a copy of this book from the publishers through Netgalley. The opinions and ideas stated are mine and mine alone. My review is an honest opinion of this book.