Book Review ~ Raven Stole The Moon by Garth Stein

Summary ~ 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.
Well folks, Garth Stein has done it again!  Actually he wrote a fabulous book before he even wrote the wonderful New York Times bestseller, The Art of Racing in the Rain.  Stein’s new publisher, Harper Collins, has decided to rerelease his first novel that has been out of print for a few years.   The book I’m talking about is Raven Stole The Moon.  It’s a dark, sad, uplifting and incredible story about a family and what happens when tragedy strikes. Things are not all as they seem at first glance. 

I COULD NOT PUT THIS BOOK DOWN!  Sorry for “yelling” but seriously, I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen to the main character, Jenna, and where her journey (I hate using that word but it applies here) would take her next.  The story revolves around the tragic drowning of Bobby, the young son of Jenna and her husband Robert, a couple years ago.  As the reader, we meet both distraught parents at a fork in their future road two years to the day after Bobby drowned.  They live in Seattle (a city I LOVE and have had the opportunity to visit many times because my parents are from that area) but the drowning occurred at a resort in Alaska.  Don’t worry, I haven’t given away anything! 

Garth Stein is a fabulous writer and really had me jumping in my skin throughout Raven Stole The Moon and I LOVED it.  It was surprising because I cried my way through The Art of Racing in the Rain and had such a different reaction to this very different book.  The only common denominator between the two novels is a dog.  In Raven Stole The Moon a dog, Oscar, plays a very important and surprising role and I really enjoyed the scenes that he graced.  The story also revolves around an Indian spirit.  The tribe is the Tlingit and the mythological spirit is the Kushtaka, loosely translated meaning “land otter man.”  Stein seamlessly weaves the stories of the Tlingit tribe into this fabulous work of fiction.

The characters are great, the story is superb and the descriptions of Seattle and Alaskan islands are vivid and true.  If you are a fan of folklore legend and like to get the blood churning in your veins while reading a great book than I cannot recommend Garth Stein’s Raven Stole The Moon enough!  There is not one lull from beginning to end and you will not want to put this book down so be sure to have all your chores and errands done for a couple of days and clear your schedule.  You’ll be so glad you did!

{Rating ~ 5 out of 5}

I would like to thank Sarah Daily of Terra Communications for approaching me with the offer to read and review Raven Stole The Moon.  I really appreciate the chance she gave me to gain awareness of Garth Stein’s book and to help bring him more attention which he truly deserves.