Saturday, May 29, 2010

Show Me 5 Saturday: Raven Stole the Moon by Garth Stein

This meme started by Alipet813 at That's a Novel Idea will give each blogger an opportunity to give a brief description of a book they have read or reviewed during the week. It will work like this: Each Saturday you will post the answer to these questions.

1. Title of book: Raven Stole the Moon by Garth Stein.

2. Words to describe the book: Tlingit legends

3. Characters you met or location:

  • Jenna Rosen: Jenna feels responsible for the drowning death of her 5 year old son while they were at an Alaskan resort two years ago. Jenna has been having a tough time of it and can't seem to "move on" as her husband Robert exhorts her to. She's been to therapy for grief counseling and then for substance abuse she used to numb the pain of her loss. Putting her problematic marriage aside, Jenna decides to go to Alaska to put the past to rest but what she finds are Tlingit legends which hint that Bobby's death may not have just been a tragic accident. With the help of a local fisherman and a Shaman, Jenna puts herself at risk to get to the truth; a risk that will strongly test all her mettle.
  • Eddie: Wrangell resident injured fisherman who helps Jenna when she needs it most. Even though Eddie is convinced that the Tlingit legends are just local stories, he provides Jenna with emotional support in her conviction that there really is some truth to the legend; something her husband Robert has been unable to do. He also gives her a room to stay in and introduces her to local pilot who will ferry her to where she needs to go in order to find a Shaman.
  • David Livingstone: Tlingit Shaman who recommended that the resort never be built in the first place after he felt the wrath of the kushtaka, spirits of the undead, when he tried to cleanse the resort as requested by the investors. Two years later and having paid a high price for his encounter with the kushtaka, David has learned his lesson to not use his gift for profit but he decides to help Jenna in her quest to loose Bobby from the kushtakas' grip. Not an easy job to be sure, at least not one he thinks he is fit for when Jenna first meets him to ask for his help.

4. Things you liked/disliked about the book:

  • I liked the thread about Jenna and Robert's marriage and Jenna's search for peace of mind.
  • Although I am not a fan of fantasy or folklore, I did find the Tlingit legends interesting but it took a lot of suspension of disbelief at the end of the story.
  • Stein never convincingly put me in the scene in Alaska. I never got the feeling that I was with the characters seeing Alaska through their eyes.
  • The few occasions where Stein used stream of consciousness was very annoying. This is not just this book, I simply can't stand that style of writing. Thankfully, it was minimal.

5. Stars or less for your rating: 3.5*** Although Stein's debut novel is quite good, it did have a few flaws for me. Overall, I enjoyed the story and would recommend it.

Note: Stein's novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain, is superb!! To read more about Garth and his works, you can visit his website.

Disclosure: A review copy of the book was provided by Terra Communications. Thanks, Sarah!


  1. If overall you still recommend it, I look forward to reading it! I won a copy so it's on the shelf.

  2. I enjoyed reading what you thought about this one. I absolutely loved it!! So funny...I think Mary is the one you won a copy from me!!!

  3. Having been to Alaska many times (Wrangell as well), this one sounds interesting.

  4. This book has been "on the radar"/on THE LIST for a while now....but all the other books on my Plate really won't give up their space. So, I'll have to save this baby. A friend told me it reminded her of AND SHE WAS by Cindy Dyson, but I can't vouch for the opinion. They are both set in Alaska, right?


  5. Hmm, I was on the fence about this one and now I still am. this one will just have to wait awhile

  6. another one that I have waiting for me....glad you liked it, if not loved it.

  7. I'm looking forward to reading this later in the month.


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