Publisher and Publication Date: Independently published. November 23, 2020.
Genre: Historical fiction. Native American literature. Christian historical fiction. Romance. Ojibwe history. Women and literature.
Format: Kindle Unlimited e-book.
Source: Even though I am apart of the book tour, I received the e-book via Kindle Unlimited. I am not required to write a positive review.
Audience: Readers of Native American historical fiction.
Rating: Very good.
Additional links for further reading:
From the ThoughtCo about the Ojibwe People.
The Ojibwe People’s Dictionary.
From Publisher’s Weekly, 10 Essential Native American Novels.
From Native American Writers, Early Native American Literature.
American Indians in Children’s Literature.
Social Justice Books. This website provides a long list of Native American literature for children of all ages.
Jenny Knipfer lives in Wisconsin with her husband, Ken, and their pet Yorkie, Ruby. She is also a mom and loves being a grandma. She enjoys many creative pursuits but finds writing the most fulfilling. Spending many years as a librarian in a local public library, Jenny recently switched to using her skills as a floral designer in a retail flower shop. She is now retired from work due to disability. Her education background stems from psychology, music, and cultural missions. Her By the Light of the Moon series earned five-star reviews from Readers’ Favorite, a book review and award contest company. Their praise: “Ruby Moon is entertaining, fast-paced, and features characters that are real. Blue Moon continues a well-written and highly engaging saga of family ties, betrayals, and heartaches. Silver Moon is a highly recommended read for fans of historical wartime fiction, powerful emotive drama, and excellent atmospheric writing. Harvest Moon is probably one of the best historical fiction novels I have ever read. I have come away deep in thought, feeling somewhat like I’ve had a mystical experience and one I will never forget.”
She holds membership in the: Midwest Independent Booksellers Association, Wisconsin Writers Association, Christian Indie Publishing Association, and Independent Book Publishers Association.
Jenny’s favorite place to relax is by the western shore of Lake Superior, where her novel series, By The Light of the Moon, is set. She is currently writing a new historical fiction series entitled, Sheltering Trees. The first title in that series, In a Grove of Maples,—inspired by the lives of her grandparents in the late 1890’s—is slated for fall of 2021.
Connect with Jenny:
Website • Twitter • Facebook • Instagram
In the wilds of 19th century Ontario, Maang-ikwe, a young Ojibwe woman, falls into a forbidden love, breaks her father’s honor, and surrenders her trust to someone who betrays it. The abuse she suffers divides her from her tribe and causes her to give up what she holds most dear.
Niin-mawin must come to grips with his culture being ripped away from him. Brought up in a “white man’s” school, he suffers through an enforced “civilized” education and separation from his family. When a man he respects reveals a secret about Niin-mawin’s past, he embarks on a search for the person he hopes can mend the part of his heart that’s always been missing.
Both Maang-ikwe and Niin-mawin wonder how a harvest of pain and sorrow will impact their lives. Will they find the blessings amongst the hardships, or will they allow the results of division and abuse to taint their hearts forever?
Fans of historical fiction, Native American fiction, Christian historical fiction, clean romance, and literary fiction will be moved by this deep, heartfelt novel.
It is rare for me to read a book with characters (or even one character) who are Native Americans. Less than 1% of children’s books have Native American characters. I’m shocked and disappointed. Native Americans are the first Americans. They are the original people who settled in North America. Their stories were first told through oral history. Now, they are also told in book form, but few books share their rich knowledge of history and culture.
After reading Harvest Moon, I performed a web search of Native American literature. The statistics, types of children and adult books, the history in their literature, and the injustice of this people group who have been ignored by publishers are some of the facts I found. Obviously they’ve been ignored because I rarely hear about Native American literature. Other people groups are examined in detail and with media attention. Why not Native American literature?
What I have written in the above section is the first reason why I love Harvest Moon. This is an important story. It is important because it shares true history, in historical fiction form, of how the Ojibwe were treated in the 19th century. Everything about their culture was impacted by white people who wanted the Ojibwe to become like them. This type of indoctrination happened among the other Native Americans in North America.
A second reason why I love this story is it brings a valid but sordid point in the Christian mission work of the 19th century. This point is abuse will never bring a person to belief in God. Christians are to share the gospel message with people. Christians are not to “force” someone to become a believer. Christians are not to scold or beat a person because they are not the “right” color or culture. We are to respect and love people. Native Americans are our neighbor. Jesus commanded us to “love our neighbor.” And, love is not just a word. Love is a word that requires action.
Harvest Moon is a story showing the trauma and after-effects of sexual abuse. I am both a survivor, and a mentor for women who have been traumatized by sexual abuse. I know that healing is something we work towards. One of the ways we work towards healing is by telling our stories. Harvest Moon is one young woman’s story who speaks for so many other women.
Harvest Moon is the story of a mother’s bond with her children, and the bond between children and their mothers.
Harvest Moon is the story of relationships between men and women. Specifically the power of attraction, miscommunication, loneliness, the need for affirmation, and blending a family together.
What I did not like about Harvest Moon is the use of the quotes at the start of each chapter. I love quotes. I love the quotes used. But these quotes do not create a harmony between the content, and using American and European writer’s quotes. I’m sorry if I come across as nit-picking, but it’s like trying to place a puzzle piece in a puzzle that doesn’t fit.
A second point in the story I don’t like is the jumping back and forth in time. This is a common form in historical fiction-dual time periods. Harvest Moon has multiple time periods. I want to clarify. At no point in the story did I become lost by the various time periods. I believe they cause too many breaks in the reading of the story. Breaks can halt or pause a reader to the point of not becoming apart of the story.
This book is not strong in typical Christian fiction themes. There is a Christian theme, but I feel it is not a dominant theme.
Themes in the story: sacrifice, love, bravery, courage, death and dying, self-worth, shame, and family honor.
Over-all, Harvest Moon is a splendid story. It is an important story.