Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Mother Earth Father Sky by Sue Harrison

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
Obtained from: Netgalley/Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours
Read: August 20, 2013

A young woman fights for survival amid the brutality of the last Ice Age. It’s 7056 BC, a time before history. On the first day that Chagak’s womanhood is acknowledged within her Aleut tribe, she unexpectedly finds herself betrothed to Seal Stalker, the most promising young hunter in the village. A bright future lies ahead of Chagak—but in one violent moment, she loses her entire way of life. Left with her infant brother, Pup, and only a birdskin parka for warmth, Chagak sets out across the icy waters on a quest for survival and revenge.

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Prehistories are for a hard sell for me. I don't know why, but they are difficult for me to get into so when I manage to find one that holds my interest, I tend to take notice which brings me to Mother Earth Father Sky by Sue Harrison. 

Like Song of the River, this piece is character heavy, but what is so remarkable is how distinct, well-rounded and realistic each cast member feels. I can't imagine what goes into  painting the motivations, personality and emotional struggles of so characters so vividly, but Harrison's effort certainly isn't wasted. In point of fact, I feel the authentic quality of her cast is what makes not just this piece, but her entire body of work so exceptional. 

Speaking of relatable characters, I should probably mention my attraction to Chagak. Her path is a difficult one, but as a woman who had to overcome sexual abuse, I really admire Harrison for creating a character that doesn't allow the experience to define her life. I've seen authors attempt this story line before, but can honestly say few have pulled it off as well. 

Strong characterization isn't the only aspect of Harrison's work worth mentioning. Her books are long, but they are also overflowing with cultural history. I might be going out on a limb, but I think it safe to say Harrison puts as much into her research as she does developing her plot lines and her cast. Her understanding and respect for the indigenous people of North America emanates from every page, making her work as intriguing as it is entertaining. 

All told, Mother Earth Father Sky is a beautiful story of perseverance and strength amidst incredible hardship, as notable for its content as its flawless presentation. 

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In his joy he laughed and for a moment his laughter seemed as strong as the wind, louder than the sea.
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CHeck out all the stops on sue Harrison's Mother Earth Father Sky and Song of the River Virtual Book Tour!

Monday, August 5
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book (Mother Earth Father Sky)
Tuesday, August 6
Review Bitches with Books (Mother Earth Father Sky)
Wednesday, August 7
Guest Post at HF Connection
Thursday, August 8
Review at Oh, for the Hook of a Book (Song of the River)
Monday, August 12
Review at Just One More Chapter (Mother Earth Father Sky)
Review at Closed the Cover (Song of the River)
Interview at Oh, for the Hook of a Book
Tuesday, August 13
Review Bitches with Books (Song of the River)
Wednesday, August 14
Review at Flashlight Commentary (Song of the River)
Thursday, August 15
Review at A Chick Who Reads (Mother Earth Father Sky)
Friday, August 16
Review at Broken Teepee (Mother Earth Father Sky)
Monday, August 19
Review at Carole’s Ramblings & Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell (Mother Earth Father Sky)
Tuesday, August 20
Review at Unabridged Chick (Song of the River)
Wednesday, August 21
Interview at Flashlight Commentary
Thursday, August 22
Review at Book Drunkard (Mother Earth Father Sky)
Friday, August 23
Review at Too Fond (Song of the River)
Review at Broken Teepee (Song of the River)
Monday, August 26
Interview at Bibliophilic Book Blog
Tuesday, August 27
Review at Book Drunkard (Song of the River)
Wednesday, August 28
Review at Flashlight Commentary (Mother Earth Father Sky)
Thursday, August 29
Review at So Many Books, So Little Time (Song of the River)
Review at The Musings of a Book Junkie (Mother Earth Father Sky)
Friday, August 30
Review at Carole’s Ramblings & Book Girl of Mur-y-Castell (Song of the River)


sue harrison said...

Thank you so much. Your review has put so much joy into my day.

Anonymous said...

:) You're welcome.