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The Raven's Gift

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Customer Review Snapshot

4.5 out of 5 stars
16 total reviews
5 stars
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Most helpful positive review
I received this Advanced Reader Copy via Good Reads. When first year teachers look toward the Alaskan Bush for adventure to start their career, they find it. But what has caused the plague, is it natural or man-made? This tale delves into Yup'ik culture, history and folk lore. I enjoyed reading this book, because it helped to explain why they act the way they do. Also, it doesn't whitewash the problems that Natives have in the modern world. This story is a true page-turner. You have the urge to find out what has happened before the plague, how the survivors of the village managed during the plague, and how it will all end. Or will it?

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Details Coming Soon John Morgan and his wife can barely contain their excitement upon arriving as the new teachers in a Yup’ik Eskimo village on the windswept Alaskan tundra. Lured north in search of adventure, the idealistic couple hope to immerse themselves in the ancient Arctic culture. Their move proves disastrous when a deadly epidemic strikes and the isolated community descends into total chaos. When outside help fails to arrive, John’s only hope lies in escaping. His thousand-mile trek across the Alaskan wilderness grows more unlikely to succeed when he encounters a blind Eskimo girl and an elderly woman. The two need his protection from those who would harm them, and he needs their knowledge of the terrain and their companionship to survive. The harsh journey and constant danger push him beyond his limits as he discovers a new sense of hope and the possibility of loving again.

Specifications

Publisher
Penguin Canada
Book Format
Paperback
Original Languages
English
Number of Pages
288
Author
Don Rearden
ISBN-13
9780143173342
Publication Date
August, 2013
Assembled Product Dimensions (L x W x H)
8.22 x 5.22 x 0.76 Inches
ISBN-10
0143173340

Customer Reviews

5 stars
8
4 stars
8
3 stars
0
2 stars
0
1 star
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1-5 of 16 reviews

I received this Advanc...

I received this Advanced Reader Copy via Good Reads. When first year teachers look toward the Alaskan Bush for adventure to start their career, they find it. But what has caused the plague, is it natural or man-made? This tale delves into Yup'ik culture, history and folk lore. I enjoyed reading this book, because it helped to explain why they act the way they do. Also, it doesn't whitewash the problems that Natives have in the modern world. This story is a true page-turner. You have the urge to find out what has happened before the plague, how the survivors of the village managed during the plague, and how it will all end. Or will it?

In The Ravens Gift, J...

In The Raven's Gift, John and Anna, both teachers, take jobs in a small Eskimo village in the Alaskan Tundra. They're both seeking adventure and John is hoping to learn more of the Yup'ik culture he may have come from. Once they arrive to the small village, John and Ana seem content enough even though they come face-to-face with the harsh reality that affects these small native communities: lack of jobs, inadequate health care, loss of culture, and high suicide rate. Then a flu epidemic hits the region causing massive deaths and a breakdown of societal rules. John, after waiting in vain for help to arrive, decides to escape. On his way, he comes across a young blind girl and an older woman who share his will to survive. Together they must face the inclement weather, the "outcasts", and the mysterious white hunter. The story is told from John's point of view and from different points in time. I was confused at first but then I realized that I was asking myself the same questions going through John's mind: How did the virus start? Was is a natural occurrence or was it released intentionally? Are they the only ones affected? Why was no help sent? With The Raven's Gift, Mr. Rearden provides us with a chilling and attention-grabbing story that deals with the best and worst of human nature. I highly recommend this book for its riveting story line and the value of the lessons that can be gleaned from it.

In The Ravens Gift, J...

In The Raven's Gift, John and Anna, both teachers, take jobs in a small Eskimo village in the Alaskan Tundra. They're both seeking adventure and John is hoping to learn more of the Yup'ik culture he may have come from. Once they arrive to the small village, John and Ana seem content enough even though they come face-to-face with the harsh reality that affects these small native communities: lack of jobs, inadequate health care, loss of culture, and high suicide rate. Then a flu epidemic hits the region causing massive deaths and a breakdown of societal rules. John, after waiting in vain for help to arrive, decides to escape. On his way, he comes across a young blind girl and an older woman who share his will to survive. Together they must face the inclement weather, the "outcasts", and the mysterious white hunter. The story is told from John's point of view and from different points in time. I was confused at first but then I realized that I was asking myself the same questions going through John's mind: How did the virus start? Was is a natural occurrence or was it released intentionally? Are they the only ones affected? Why was no help sent? With The Raven's Gift, Mr. Rearden provides us with a chilling and attention-grabbing story that deals with the best and worst of human nature. I highly recommend this book for its riveting story line and the value of the lessons that can be gleaned from it.

This story of post-epi...

This story of post-epidemic survival on the Alaskan tundra came with masterful characterization and storytelling using three different timelines and much native Eskimo culture and mythology. The format was great with short altering timeline pieces that pulled me in, jacked up the tension and made me crazy for more. A very realistic picture was drawn of what occurs with marginalized, indigenous peoples in our modern world. The story has an ambiguous ending with lots of questions remaining but some hope for a future for John and "the girl". Keep and re-read.

The cover of The Raven...

The cover of The Raven's Gift declares that it is "A gripping post-apocalyptic Alaskan nightmare...". Gripping is right. From the moment I picked up this book, I was held captive by the story. Details of a life in the Alaskan tundra, that I will never experience, was equal parts fascinating and enraging. While the story of John's struggle for survival, after the world he knows is ending, was edge-of-my-seat exciting. The story jumps to different points in time a fair bit. Normally, this is not a technique that will endear me to a book, however, in the case of The Raven's Gift, I think it worked. The glimpses of the past help to give the reader a bit of reprieve from the survival struggle of the present, as well as remind us just how much was lost.

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