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Raven stole the moon : a novel
Garth Stein
Adult Fiction STEIN

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From Publishers' Weekly:

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. (Mar.) FYI: Stein, a documentary filmmaker, is the great-grandson of a Tlingit Indian. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Her upscale Seattle lifestyle lost meaning for Jenna Rosen when her young son drowned in Alaska. On the second anniversary of his death, she impulsively takes a ferry to Wrangell, where she grew up and which is not far from the drowning site. Once there, Jenna often feels menaced; even as a dog appears to protect her, shape-changing kushtaka (Indian spirits) repeatedly threaten her life‘corporal and eternal. Her husband, Robert, arrives in Wrangell after he learns from a private investigator that she is living with a young fisherman. Only when a shaman risks his life to save Jenna and to help put their son's soul to rest are the Rosens able to resolve their grief. Stein's richly textured first novel, drawing on his Tlingit heritage and award-winning filmmaking experience, is layered with vivid descriptions and characters. Recommended for all fiction collections.‘V. Louise Saylor, Eastern Washington Univ. Libs., Cheney (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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