Raven Stole the Moon

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9780671004590: Raven Stole the Moon

In this haunting debut, Garth Stein brilliantly invokes his Native American heritage and its folklore to create an electrifying supernatural thriller. When a grieving mother returns to the remote Alaskan town where her young son drowned, she discovers that the truth about her son's death is shrouded in legend and buried in a terrifying wrinkle between life and death. When Jenna Rosen abandons her comfortable Seattle life to return to Wrangell, Alaska, it's a wrenching return to her past. Long ago the home of her Native American grandmother, Wrangell is located near the Thunder Bay resort, where Jenna's young son, Bobby, disappeared two years before. His body was never recovered, and Jenna is determined to lay to rest the aching mysterey of his death. But the spectacular town provides little comfort beyond the steady and tender affections of Eddie, a local fisherman. And then whispers of ancient legends begin to suggest a frightening new possibility about Bobby's fate. Soon, Jenna must sift thourgh the beliefs of her ancestors, the Tlingit-- who still tell of powerful, menacing forces at work in the Alaskan wilderness. There beliefs are shared by Dr. David Livingstone, a practicing shaman who had been hired to "cleanse" Thunder Bay of its resless spirits. The experience almost cost him his life, and he warns Jenna about the danger of disturbing the legendary kushtaka-- soul-stealing predators that stalk a netherworld between land and sea, the living and the dead. But Jenna is desperate for answers, and she appeals to both Livingstone and Eddie to help her sort fact from myth, and face the unthinkable possibilities head-on. Armed with nothing but a mother's ferocious protective instincts, Jenna's quest for the truth about her son-- and the strength of her beliefs-- is about to pull her into a terrifying and life-changing abyss... Coloring powerful legend with universal emotions, Garth Stein masterfully evokes our most primal dreams and fears. Remarkably vivid and relentlessly suspensful, "Raven Stole the Moon" marks the arrival of a stunningly imaginative new talent.

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Review:

On impulse, Jenna Rosen leaves the party she and her real estate developer husband, Robert, are attending in Seattle, takes his BMW and drives north to Bellingham. Again on impulse, she hops on the ferry to the Alaskan town where her Tlingit Indian grandmother lived and died. But there's more than impulse at work here: Jenna and Robert's 5-year-old son, Bobby, drowned in Alaska just two years ago, and something is drawing Jenna back to the scene. On the ferry, she's given a carved silver charm of a Tlingit spirit called a kushtaka, a stealer of souls. "Tlingits don't have good and evil," a local shaman explains, telling the story of how the spirit known as Raven gave the world the sun, moon, and stars by stealing them from someone else. As Jenna learns more about the kushtakas, helped by this very sophisticated shaman and an understanding fisherman, she begins to believe that her son's soul is being held captive by these spirits, as revenge for her husband's greed. Garth Stein's persuasive prose draws us into a book that mixes fantasy with tragedy and the natural human desire for closure.

From the Back Cover:

From the author of the acclaimed New York Times bestseller The Art of Racing in the Rain comes an extraordinary tale of grief, devotion, redemption, and timeless mystery.

When Jenna Rosen abandons her comfortable Seattle life to visit Wrangell, Alaska, it's a wrenching return to her past. The hometown of her Native American grandmother, Wrangell is located near the Thunder Bay Resort, where Jenna's young son, Bobby, disappeared two years before. His body was never recovered, and Jenna is determined to lay to rest the aching mystery of his death. But whispers of ancient legends begin to suggest a frightening new possibility about Bobby's fate, and Jenna must sift through the beliefs of her ancestors, the Tlingit, who still tell of powerful, menacing forces at work in the Alaskan wilderness. Armed with nothing but a mother's protective instincts, Jenna's quest for the truth behind her son's disappearance is about to pull her into a terrifying and life-changing abyss.

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