Monday, June 3, 2013

The Raven's Gift by Don Rearden

by:  Don Rearden
published by:  Pintail
publish date:  June 25, 2013

John Morgan and his wife can barely contain their excitement upon arriving as the new teachers in a Yup'ik Eskimo village on the windswept Alaskan tundra. But their move proves disastrous when a deadly epidemic strikes and the isolated community descends into total chaos. 

In The Raven's Gift John and his wife are teachers that are tired of the fast-paced life of the lower 48.  They decide that they want to take their passion for teaching to a far remote village in Alaska.  They were excited about their new life until a sickness settled in the village and everyone started dying.   Cut off from civilization, communication, and supplies, John becomes desperate to get help.

I was totally drawn in by the romance of chucking everything and going on a grand adventure to the Alaskan wilderness.  The descriptions about moving to a far off village were intriguing.  The logistics of getting there and making sure the supplies were sufficient were fascinating.  I was glad to see a reference to Eskimo Ice Cream in the book.  I saw someone eating that on Travel Channel and was thoroughly disgusted.  Kudos to anyone that can actually eat that.

Along John's journey he rescues a blind girl.  I couldn't decide how I felt about this character.  Something about her kind of annoyed me.  John's feelings towards her at the end of the book weren't exactly kosher in my book either.  I don't want to give away any spoilers, but I wasn't pleased.

Overall, I liked the book.  It had a beautiful sense of setting.  It's a good book for a cold, dreary day.   Or read it on a hot day and you'll forget all about it.  The descriptions of the frozen tundra will get you feeling chilly in no time!

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