Book Review: Under a Blackberry Moon by Serena B. Miller

While at a MOPs Convention in 2012, I signed up to be part of a review panel for new books from Baker Publishing.  I noted the kinds of books I might enjoy, and now I get emails every few weeks about not-yet-released stories that fit my taste.  If it looks interesting to me, they send me a free copy, and I post a review on and write about it here.

Generally, reading is a luxury I have to take advantage of in small chunks of time.  Ten minutes here, one more chapter there.  You know what they say… the fastest way to get your kids’ attention is to get comfy and open a book.  Ain’t that the truth!

It only took me a chapter or two in Under a Blackberry Moon to realize that I’d need more than ten minutes at a time.  So yesterday, I put on a movie for the boys <gasp!> and read as voraciously as possible, and then brought it to bed last night and read a while longer while my husband watched football <for shame!>.  I simply could. not. put. this. book. down.  The back of the book says:

Just a few days after she gives birth alone in the Northwoods, a recently widowed young Chippewa woman stumbles into a nearby lumber camp in search of refuge and sustenance. Come summer, the camp owner sends Skypilot, his most trusted friend, to accompany Moon Song and her baby on the long and treacherous journey back to her people. But when tragedy strikes off the shore of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula wilderness, Moon Song and Skypilot must depend on each other for survival. With every step they take into the forbidding woods, they are drawn closer together, until the tough questions must be asked. Will she leave her culture to enter his? Will he leave his world to enter hers? Or will they walk away from a love that seems too complicated to last?


For me, this was a case of “don’t judge a book by its cover.”  The photography is beautiful, but it didn’t really jump out at me the way the art on some other books I’ve read has.  However, I’ve always had a love for studying and reading about Native American culture, so I was excited to jump in.

I was NOT disappointed.

Many of the books I’ve read lately have contained too many flowery, unnecessary words.  This makes it laborious to read and the impact of the story is often lost while sorting through the excess.  “Blackberry Moon” leaves out all the extra junk, effortlessly sucking the reader right into the adventure.  At one point, though I was enjoying myself, I began to think I could predict what would happen from then on out.  Boy, was I wrong!  The very next chapter literally had me gasping, covering my mouth, and hardly blinking for fear that I’d miss something.  And just when things seemed to become predictable again, the story took off in yet another completely different direction.

The author writes in such a way that you can smell the sawdust, feel the frigid lake water, and experience the heartache and joy felt by the courageous main characters.  She has written several other novels, and I plan to add them to my growing list of “to-read” books.

If you’re looking for an exciting story full of adventure and love, and sprinkled with the truth about a God who loves even a half-breed squaw, this is the book for you!

Available October 2013 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
Disclosure: I was provided a free copy of this book via the publisher in exchange for my own honest opinions.

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