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Under a Blackberry Moon: A Novel by Serena…
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Under a Blackberry Moon: A Novel

by Serena B. Miller

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A Christian romance with excitement and danger. A young starving Chippewa widow with a baby seeks refuge in a lumber camp where she becomes an assistant to the cook and a friend of the owner and his wife. When danger of another kind threatens in town, she and her baby take off to reunite with her people, accompanied by Skypilot, an itinerant preacher. Their steamship explodes while navigating Lake Superior; the Indian Moon Song and her baby, Skypilot, and the young wife of an Army commander are the only survivors. Moon Song's native skills keep them alive; she can forage for food, devise shelter, swim, and find safe refuge. Knowing from past experience that white men are unreliable, she leaves Skypilot as she nears her village. Meanwhile, the young wife, Isabella, goes into a severe depression over the loss of her husband and baby in the shipwreck, and experiences a psychotic episode when she temporaily mistakes Moon Song's child for her own. There are other adventures before she reaches her homeland, and Skypilot has some decisions to make, as well. Then there is the attempt of the American government to take the native children far away from home to an "Indian school."

This was a surprisingly good book. I will look for more by this author. ( )
  FancyHorse | Sep 1, 2014 |
Moon Song is a recently widowed young Chippewa woman who stumbled into Robert Foster's lumber camp in search of refuge after giving birth alone in the Northwoods of Michigan. She and her son return to town in the spring with Robert and his family, but Bay City is a wild town in 1868, not a safe place for a single Native American woman, so come summer, Moon Song decides to go back to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, to her people. Robert won't hear of her going alone though, so he sends Skypilot, his most trusted friend, to accompany her and her son.

A tragedy strikes off the shore of the Michigan wilderness, and Moon Song and Sky Pilot must depend on each other for survival, and must also help another survivor, a grieving woman who has lost her husband and her baby. Skypilot (his given name is Isaac, but among the lumber men, former preachers are often called "skypilots") begins to see Moon Song as more than a friend, and she also begins to fall in love with him. As they fight together for survival, they draw closer, until they have tough questions to ask. Will she leave her culture for his? Can he leave his world to be with her?

This is the sequel to The Measure of Katie Calloway; though it works as a stand alone story, I recommend reading "Katie Calloway" first, as that is where Moon Flower and Sky Pilot first meet each other. At the time that I read "Katie Calloway", I did not know it was the start of a series, and I thought at the time as I got towards the end of the book,that the relationship between Moon Song and Sky Pilot would make a great story, so I was very happy when I found them both to be the subject of the sequel.

I really enjoyed this story. There was a lot more too it than just romance, it was an adventure story too. The author really did her research and she also touched upon the mistreatment and the prejudices that the Native American people faced at that time. She incorporated those issues into the story in an authentic and realistic way. ( )
  mom2acat | Jun 13, 2014 |
Under a Blackberry Moon by Serena B. Miller is described as a sequel to her earlier novel, The Measure of Katie Calloway, yet it works perfectly as a stand-alone.

Serena is a new author to me and I must say that I loved her writing. With nicely-flowing prose and rich historical detail, Serena weaves a fascinating story with memorable characters and a compelling Native American theme.

Moon Song, "daughter of the lake country," and Skypilot, a former preacher in Virginia, are well-developed lead characters that I grew to love more with each page turn. Isabella and Jesuit priest Father Slovic are strong secondary characters who add much richness to the narrative.

Under a Blackberry Moon opens in the rugged lumber town of Bay City, Michigan in 1868. It's not long, however, before a tragic accident strands Moon Song, Skypilot and Isabella in the Upper Peninsula wilderness, where we see Moon Song's strength, courage, and natural survival skills. Skypilot reflects that . . . "In Bay City, she had seemed awkward and out of place . . . Watching her here was like watching a graceful doe melt into the shadows of the forest." This is a novel where the picturesque Upper Peninsula practically becomes a major character.

The Native American theme captivated me as Serena skillfully brought in not only the mistreatment they often received, but so much interesting detail about their way of life and religious beliefs. For instance, months of the year were given descriptive "moon" names - like "Blackberry Moon" for the month when blackberries ripen, "Falling Leaves Moon" for when the leaves fall, "Freezing Moon" for when the snows come, etc. And the women did what we would think of as a man's work, for . . . "A warrior would fight to defend his woman, but he would not lighten her load. That was the way it had always been."

One of my favorite parts in the book is a conversation between Skypilot and Father Slovic. Forced out of the ministry before the Civil War for publicly taking a stand against slavery, Skypilot had continued ministering to people in need. Father Slovic wisely tells him, "You never left the ministry at all. . . . You simply carried it with you. Living a life of service to others is the most powerful sermon of all."

The growing love between Moon Song and Skypilot is beautiful to watch, as it seems their differences might be insurmountable at first. "There was no way Skypilot could fit into her tribe, and she had already failed to fit into his." While the ending might turn out as one expects, how we get there is surprisingly creative and moving.

I thoroughly enjoyed Under a Blackberry Moon and will be reading more of Serena's novels. I highly recommend this story to all readers.

This book was provided by Lanette Haskins and Revell in exchange for my honest review. ( )
  PianoLady831 | Oct 20, 2013 |
UNDER THE BLACKBERRY MOON by Serena B. Miller is an exciting Inspirational Historical Romance set in 1868 Bay City, Michigan. You will get swept away with the story of Moon Song and Skypilot on their journey of danger, survival, two cultures colliding, faith,the Chippewa Indians,compromise and love. They have to a dangerous,sometimes treacherous wilderness to get Moon Song back to her people. Can love find its way into the lives of these two very different people? TO find out you must read "Under the Blackberry Moon" you will not regret your choice of reading material. Fast paced and filled with adventure,allure and romance. If you have not read one of Ms. Miller's stories I would highly recommend you do, you will not regret your choice. I love Moon Song, and Skypilot's stories, they embrace their cultures with love,honor and sacrifice. A must read! Received for an honest review from the publisher.

“Available October 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”

RATING: 4.5

HEAT RATING: SWEET

REVIEWED BY: AprilR, Courtesy of My Book Addiction and More ( )
  MyBookAddiction | Oct 20, 2013 |
Seeking refuge from the harsh winter weather Moon Song and her newborn baby stumble into a lumber camp where has been taken under the wings of the campers. Now it's time to return to her people. Accompanied by Skypilot, one of the men in the camp, they begin their journey. Shortly after boarding the train a tragedy occurs and they find themselves in the wilderness struggling to survive.

Along the way Skypilot reveals his love for Moon Song, although she is in love with him she refuses to let him know. Having been betrayed by a white man previously she won't take a chance with Skypilot.

Their journey is one that will touch your heart with tender moments, Moon Song's marriage to a white man, the maltreatment her people endure, Skypilot's broken heart, and the fact that they are of different faiths. This is a really good story, well written, entertaining.

I received a copy of this book free from Revell in exchange for an honest review.

"Available October 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group." ( )
  JoyAnne | Oct 14, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0800721187, Paperback)

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.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:19 -0400)

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. Will they walk away from a love that seems too complicated to last?… (more)

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