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My Sister the Moon

My Sister the Moon

4.7 8
by Sue Harrison

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An abused and unwanted daughter of the First Men Tribe, young Kiin knows the harsh realities of life in a frozen land at the top of the world. In an age of ice nine millenia past, her destiny is tied to the brave sons of orphaned chagak and her chieftain mate kayugh — one to whom, kiin is promised, the,other for whom she yearns But the evil that her own family


An abused and unwanted daughter of the First Men Tribe, young Kiin knows the harsh realities of life in a frozen land at the top of the world. In an age of ice nine millenia past, her destiny is tied to the brave sons of orphaned chagak and her chieftain mate kayugh — one to whom, kiin is promised, the,other for whom she yearns But the evil that her own family spawned drags the tormented young woman far from her people — where savage cruelties, love and fate will strenghten and change her... and give her the courage to fight for the future of her own helpless progeny.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
While it successfully recreates the culture of the whale-hunting Aleuts of 9000 years ago, Harrison's sequel to Mother Earth, Father Sky (600,000 paperback copies in print) lacks the tense grittiness of its predecessor. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
YA-- Set in the prehistoric Aleutian Islands, this is a sequel to Mother Earth, Father Sky (Doubleday, 1990). At her birth, Kiin's father had planned on killing her so that his wife might immediately produce a son. She is saved, however, when the chief claims her as the wife for his infant son. Her life is one of difficulty and abuse--her father beats her regularly and gives her to traders for the night to improve his exchanges--but her inner strength enables her to survive through the turbulent, stormy times. This moving story keeps readers in its grip because every hint of peacefulness is upended by another difficulty. Although YAs will enjoy this novel as much as its predecessor, it is more disturbing as the excellent characterizations involve readers significantly, causing them to share the tense emotional drama with Kiin.-- Jacque line Craig, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
940L (what's this?)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

LIGHT FROM THE SEAL OIL LAMPS CAUGHT THE shine of the trader's eyes. Blue Shell's daughter shuddered.

"A good way to use the night," her father said, and he reached over to cup his daughter's left breast. "One seal belly of oil."

Blue Shell's daughter held her breath, but she made herself look at the man, made herself meet his eyes. Sometimes that worked. Sometimes they saw the emptiness in her eyes, saw what her father would not tell them: that she had no soul. And a woman without a soul-who could say what she might do? Perhaps pull away bits of a man's spirit when he was lost in the joy of her thighs.

But this trader's eyes were dull, greedy for the touch of her. And the girl was afraid he would see only the shine of oil on her arms and legs, the length of her black hair. Nothing more.

"She is beautiful," Gray Bird said. "See, good dark eyes, good round face. Her cheekbones are tall under her skin. Her hands are small; her feet are small." He said nothing about her mouth, how words came from it broken and stuttering.

The trader licked his lips. "One seal belly?"

He is young, Blue Shell's daughter thought. Her father liked to trade with younger men. They thought more of their loins than their bellies.

"What is her name?" the trader asked.

Blue Shell's daughter caught and held her breath, but her father ignored the question.

"One seal belly," he said. "Usually I ask two."

The trader's eyes narrowed. "She has no name?" he asked and laughed. "One handful of oil for the girl."

Gray Bird's smile faded.

The trader laughed again. "Someone told me about your daughter," he said. "She isworth nothing. She has no soul. How do I know she will not steal mine?"

Gray Bird turned toward the girl. She ducked but was not quick enough to avoid the hard slap of his hand against the side of her face.

"You are worthless," he said.

Gray Bird smiled at the trader and gestured toward a pile of sealskins. "Sit," he said, his voice soft, but Blue Shen's daughter saw the tightness of his lips and knew that he would soon be biting the insides of his cheeks, shredding the soft skin of his mouth. She had seen him spit out clots of blood after a bad trading session.

The girl stepped back against the thick earthen wall of the ulaq and worked her way toward her sleeping place. She waited until the two men were engrossed in their bartering, then she slipped through the woven grass dividing curtains that separated the space where she slept from the ulaq's large main room. She could still hear her father's voice, now low and whining, as he offered her mother's baskets and the skins from the lemmings her brother Qakan had trapped.

She knew Qakan would still be sitting in the comer, that he would still be eating, grease dribbling from his chin to the bulge of his fat belly, his small dark eyes blinking too often, his fingers stuffing his mouth with food. But he would be watching. The one time Qakan seemed to take interest in anything besides food was when their father bargained with traders.

She heard her father's giggle, almost a woman's laugh, and knew that he would now work on the trader's sympathy: Here he was, a man trying to provide for his family. See what had happened to him because of his generosity, because of the softness of his heart.

"It is my daughter; she is the one," Gray Bird began as he always began, the same story the girl had heard many times.

"What could I do? I have a good wife. She did not want to give up this daughter. She begged me. I knew I might be killed in a hunt. I knew I might not survive to have a son, but I let this daughter live."

And so he continued. Yes, he had refused to name this daughter, had denied her a name and thus a soul. But who could blame him? Had she not pushed ahead of brothers that might have been born, this greedy daughter, born feet first, thrusting her way into the world?

And each time Gray Bird told the story, Blue Shell's daughter felt the hollowness within her grow. It would have been better if her mother had given her to the wind. Then perhaps her father would have named her, and she would have found her way to the Dancing Lights, been there now, with other spirits.

Yes, that would be better than growing old in her father's ulaq. No hunter would trade for her; no man would pay a bride price for a woman without a soul. Men wanted sons. Without a soul to mingle with a man's seed how could she bring forth a child?

Besides, she thought, I have fifteen, perhaps sixteen summers, but still have had no time of bleeding. I am woman, but not woman, without soul, without woman's blood.

And she remembered one rare time when her mother had stood up to Gray Bird. Blue Shell, angry, had screamed: "How should I know why the girl has no blood flow' You would not give her a name. How can a father expect a girl without a name to bleed? What will bleed? The girl has no, soul."

"It is Kayugh's fault," Gray Bird had said, and Blue Shell's daughter heard a whining in his words that reminded her of Qakan.

"He promised his son. He will give you a bride price..." The sharp sound of a slap had cut off Blue Shell's words.

"He has no honor," Gray Bird said. "He does not keep his...

Meet the Author

Sue Harrison is the author of five previous novels: Mother Earth Father Sky, My Sitter the Moon, Brother Wind, Song of the River, and Cry of the Wind. Prior to the publication of her first novel, she taught creative writing at Lake Superior State University. She and her husband, Neil, live in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. They have two children.

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My Sister the Moon 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
MISS_READ_IT More than 1 year ago
I cant even begin to say how wonderful this book is. Its the kind of book that makes you laugh , cry and scream at the book. I read it in two days I could not put the book down. Great characters and good plot not dragging or boring at all so sad that it ended! I'm just with out words to say how this book touched me!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is sad, moving, and touching. I literally could not put this book down, reading it from one page to the next until it was done. The story is about a young woman named kiin, whose father cursed her, according to myths in their village, by refusing to give her a name. Kiin is abused by not only her father, but men who use her for the night during trades. But what her father doesn't realize, is that Kiin has a greater destiny and his abuse only makes her stronger. I am looking forward to brother wind.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I could NOT put it down, and it's very rare that I find a book that I like that much. You definetly need to read it!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
You must read this whole sue harrison collection in order to become a part of ancient history.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was like you were in the book, and with in 5 pages your glued to it. When I read it I found myself not being able to put it down, And I hate to read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thought this was the best series I have ever read. This one in particualr was, in my opinion, the best out of the three. You will enjoy the series as you get lost in lands past gone and get wrapped up in the characters physical and psychological lives.