Under a Blackberry Moon
This inspirational story takes place just after the Civil War in a logging camp in Bay City, Michigan. Skypilot and Moon Song had both featured in Miller’s previous book, The Measure of Katie Calloway, after the young Chippewa woman stumbled into the camp after giving birth to her son. Skypilot has been trying to carve out a new life in the Michigan wilderness after leaving behind his ministry work out east and his unpopular opposition to the recent war. With a cradleboard in place, the young widow plans to set out on foot to return to her beloved northern Michigan to join her family. Skypilot is charged by his employer to escort her and her child safely by steamboat through the Great Lakes. He soon learns that she is strong willed and resourceful as they face adversity and danger together en route. What begins as a journey between friends develops into a tale of two very different people searching for a common thread that could weave the fabric of a future together.
A great deal of research is needed to give historical fiction a genuine flavor, and Serena Miller has done this Native American novel justice. The characters’ religious and social differences are well written, and the reader can’t anticipate how they might come to a middle ground, which makes the story a very good read to reach the surprising conclusion.