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From childhood, Bonnie Leon cherished the legends and family history handed down through her Aleut ancestors. The best-selling author of many historical novels, including the recently released Alaskan Skies series, Bonnie also teaches women’s Bible studies and speaks at writing seminars and conventions. She and her husband, Greg, live in Oregon.
on Nov. 16, 2013 :
The Journey of Eleven Moons is a lovely, captivating story of love, loss, faith and courage set in the Alaskan islands in the late 1800s. Bonnie tells the story of Anna, Iya, and Erik well with an intriguing sense of place, allowing us to see life through a native Aleutian woman’s eyes and feel her fear and her need for courage to face an uncertain future. Though just 16, Anna is a strong but gentle young woman you can’t help but admire and root for. Her young sister Iya is a caring little girl you also can’t help falling in love with.
When a tragic disaster wipes out Anna’s village, Anna as sole survivor must take on the role of mother to her young sister and ensure their survival. She knows only life on the island and is dependent on the sea. She can do all the things she’s skilled to do—gather food and make baskets from grass and pouches and clothing from hides. But without the men and their ability to hunt, the girls cannot survive the coming winter on their own. They need help. And yet there is no one to whom they can turn—no one except a tall, handsome stranger, and yet the girls know full well not to trust “outsiders”.
Erik is quiet but strong with a kind heart. He too has suffered loss. Anna and Erik must unwillingly join forces to survive, working together as a team while facing treacherous conditions of both the land and sea, the threat of treacherous, heartless men, and the threat of becoming bound by love to someone you can’t have. Most of all, they must find the courage to surrender to a God who sees the beginning and the end when all they see is the frightening unknown.
This story brought tears to my eyes as I shared in the heartaches and the hopes of all three. I would love to see this book made into a film! I enjoyed it very much. What a touching, intriguing story!
(reviewed 6 days after purchase)
on Nov. 14, 2013 :
Bonnie Leon is a fantastic writer who places readers right into the scenes and leading them through the story right along with the characters. I feel as though I’ve experienced Anna’s heartbreak over her loss of her family, her village, and her fiancé, and Erik’s struggle against wanting independence and wanting a family and a place to call home. As they journey toward love and faith, readers walk with them and, best of all, get to experience the perfect ending right along with Erik and Anna.
Leon is a master at creating characters. Readers will fall in love with Anna, Iya, and Erik, and will despise Jarvis and Frank with a passion. I’ve been a longtime fan of Bonnie’s work, and her characters stick in my mind more than most, and these folks are no exception.
The Journey of Eleven Moons is a rich feast for the senses. Bonnie Leon’s descriptions of the sights, sounds, and tastes of the Alaskan wilderness and lifestyle drag readers into the story and won’t let go until the last page. This book is full of interesting details about life in Alaska, but at no point did I feel like I was reading a textbook. Every detail added to my understanding of Anna’s life and the story as a whole.
The Journey of Eleven Moons is an amazing book and I count it a privilege to have read it. I’m looking forward to book two and Anna and Erik’s continuing journey.
(Disclosure: I received an advanced copy of this book to review. The book is the only compensation I have received in return for an honest review. If I didn’t think it was fantastic, then I wouldn’t have said so!! :) Thanks!)
(reviewed the day of purchase)
on Nov. 14, 2013 :
Even if you are not usually a reader of Christian Fiction, you will not be sorry for reading this book. It will grab you from the start! You will be taken to Alaska in the 1800's where 16 year old Anna and her 5 year old sister Iya watch from the cliffs above their village as a tsunami wipes out their village, family and the only life they have ever known. An American stranger comes into their lives and the story unfolds into one of joy, heartache, danger, survival, faith and love.
Bonnie Leon is an amazing story teller who brings her characters and their surroundings alive. She has captured the beauty of Alaska in this story that has deepened my longing to visit there. She has breathed life into her characters in such a way that it makes it hard to imagine that they are really fictional.You will see, hear, taste and feel as though you were there in the pages...and you will wish you were!
Her messages of faith are simple, clear and inspiring. They are never condemning and regardless of your personal faith, you will enjoy this story and look forward to the continuing journey....
(reviewed 5 days after purchase)