As many of you may know, I am no longer a New Yorker, so please check out my new blog A Library of My Own. If you are just reading Life and Times, you are missing out. Thanks!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Raven Stole the Moon - Garth Stein (Giveaway)

A short while back, I was asked to read and review Garth Stein's book Raven Stole the Moon. I thought it was his new novel but it is actually a reprint of a book he wrote some thirteen years ago. Since my husband and I really enjoyed reading The Art of Racing in the Rain (our joint review here), I jumped at the chance.

I don't want to have any spoilers so here's the story:

While vacationing at a resort in Alaska, Jenna and Robert Rosen lost their only young son in a boating accident and his body was never recovered. Two years later, back in Seattle, Jenna is still unable to come to terms with the guilt and grief over his death. After an angry fight with Robert, Jenna spontaneously drives to Bellingham where she catches the ferry to Alaska knowing she must deal with his death in her own way.

Jenna arrives in Wrangell, the home of her Tlingit grandmother who passed away years earlier. There she meets a few characters who help her search for answers to her son's death and disappearance including Eddie, an injured fisherman who develops quite the crush on Jenna. While searching for answers, Jenna becomes more and more a believer in the Tlingit lore and legend surrounding kushtaka spirits: shape-shifting otter spirits believed to steal the souls of lost people.

I am having a hard time deciding how I like this book. I liked it. I didn't love it. There were too many hard topics to make it really enjoyable but I was sucked into the story anyway. My husband said it's not as engaging as The Art of Racing in the Rain, but we both devoured the story anyway. When I wasn't reading the book, he was.

I think the biggest thing to note is that this is an older book of Garth Stein's and it shows in the writing which is not as fluid as The Art of Racing in the Rain. But I completely loved the Alaskan setting and the Tlingit spirit lore. Garth Stein is part Tlingit and I loved that he really put work into the Alaskan setting.

The hard part about reading this book is the topics of death, grief, and guilt and how they can wreck, ravage, and pull apart a family. It was a great book for discussion between my husband and I though. I found that I had more sympathy with the husband and thought Jenna was insanely selfish while my husband felt they were both mildly awful in their selfishness.

I searched around the web and found a Tlingit image of a kushtaka:

Here's the original cover of Raven Stole the Moon. I definitely like the newer one much better:

***An now for a GIVEAWAY!

Sarah at Terra Communications is letting me give away a copy of Raven Stole the Moon to one lucky U.S. or Canada resident. The contest is open through March 19th so good luck!

To enter, please post a comment with your email address or blog so I know how to get a hold of you.

Also reviewed by:


  1. I hope #1 is lucky for me, please count me in on this exciting giveaway.
    I follow by google reader.

    cenya2 at hotmail dot com

  2. I seem to always compare a writer's older work with their new ones, especially favorite writers, which is not really fair, I should just judge a book by itself but I am intrigued by the title itself, so count me in


  3. Very interesting! I remember hearing about this first book of his, and I'd love a chance to win it.



  4. Squee! I would love to win this :) I loved Art of Racing in the Rain and if this book is a fraction of the awesome that book was, I'm all for it.

  5. I've got this posted at Win a Book for you. No need to enter me.

  6. I have The Art of Racing in the Rain in my TBR pile and would love to read this one too!

    melacan at hotmail dot com

  7. sounds like a good read

    ykatrina at hotmail dot com

  8. It sounds interesting.

  9. Wonderful review...and I am glad to see the picture of a kushtaka! That is really cool. Thanks for the link to my review as well :)

  10. Very smart of the publisher to capitalize on Stein's success with "Racing" but I keep hearing that it's not as strong and I wonder if that's the image you want to leave readers with. The Alaskan part does sound very interesting.


  11. I loved Racing in the Rain too, and I am anxious to read this one. THanks for the giveaway.
    mtakala1 AT yahoo DOT com

  12. I've been hearing alot about this one, sounds good!

  13. I would love to win this book!
    amandarwest at gmaildotcom

  14. Please enter me. I'd love to read this.


  15. I'd love a chance to win this book it sounds really good.

  16. Sounds great!! Thanks for the giveaway!!


    p.s. Good luck with your move! Can I just tell you how completely jealous I am that you are headed close to Nashville?!

  17. I like reading books about people coping with issues that impact everyone at some time in their lives, particularly the heavier, more intense issues like death and grief. Please include me in your giveaway.

    Thank you for offering this book in a giveaway.

    Aimala127 AT gmail DOT com

  18. Please enter me! I can be reached at or

  19. I loved The Art of Racing in the Rain and would really loved to read this one.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    teddyr66 at yahoo dot com

  20. would enjoy reading this book...thanks for the chance.

    kmkuka at yahoo dot Com

  21. I'd love to enter! Thanks!

    aikychien at yahoo dot com

  22. Hi Amanda, I love your blog and thanks so much for linking my review as well! Can't wait to check out your blog more and link your blog on our Friends of the Bookwormz page!! :) Will you be attending Garth Stein's events in VA this year? If so, would love to meet a fellow book blogger :)

  23. New to the site and enjoyed looking around. Will certainly be back.


  24. Thanks so much for this giveaway! I'd love to be entered!


  25. Please enter me in this giveaway!

    familyhistree at yahoo dot com

    Sarah E

  26. Hi road warrior! I hope you are having nice weather today as you and Hubby are out there in America. I wanted to let you know that I had the great pleasure of meeting Garth Stein last night at The Bethesda Writer's Center in Maryland. He read from ARR and was simply marvelous. Garth did a Q&A as well as signed books that we, the fans and audience, brought with us or purchased at the center. It was a lot of fun and very cool. I hope you get an opportunity at some point to attend one of his events. You'll LOVE it!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.