Under A Blackberry Moon. Serena B. Miller. 2013. Revell. 352 pages. [Source: Review copy]
The very first Serena B. Miller novel I read, I loved. I knew I had found a new favorite, someone whose works I would seek out again and again. That novel was A Promise to Love. I've since reread it. And I'm tempted to put it in my top five best historical romances ever, ever category. It's just that good. I've since read A Measure of Katie Calloway, and I'm so glad I did! Not only is it a great book all on its own, but, it connects with her newest book Under a Blackberry Moon.
Under a Blackberry Moon is a companion novel to A Measure of Katie Calloway. The heroine, Moon Song, and her young son, Ayasha (he's given his 'real' name later in the novel, Standing Bear), are introduced in this earlier book. I wouldn't say it's essential for the enjoyment of Under a Blackberry Moon, but, it's certainly satisfying to read them both.
Moon Song, our heroine, has decided to return to her people, to her grandmother. She's been working along with Katie at the lumber camp, but, she feels the need or desire to return. That is where she wants to raise her son. Skypilot (aka Isaac Ross) is a former preacher turned lumber man. He knows and respects Moon Song. He would like to escort her at least part of the way home. They've convinced Moon Song to travel part of the way back via steamboat. It is on this voyage home that the unexpected happens, something tragic. There are only four survivors: Moon Song and her infant son, Ayasha; Skypilot; and Isabella Hatchette. Isabella lost her baby and her husband. These three adults will have to work closely together if they hope to survive and reach civilization. And it's a real struggle. During these weeks, Moon Song and Skypilot, well, they begin to fall in love. Moon Song knows in her head, at least, that falling in love with any white man is unwise, foolish, heartbreaking. Her own father was white. He abandoned her. She has never known a white man who took an Indian wife who didn't end up abandoning her sooner or later. But Isaac Ross isn't any man. I liked the way this romance was developed. I liked that it wasn't instant. I liked that they didn't rush ahead without looking ahead or counting the cost, if you will. Before meeting Moon Song, he'd never lived in that climate, in that environment. He didn't know anything about her, her family, her life, her culture. His willingness to go there, to observe, to learn, to work, it resonates.
I enjoyed the characters and the story. Definitely recommended.
© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible