Shifting from contemporary Yupik Eskimo village life to a gripping post-apocalyptic Alaskan nightmare, The Raven's Gift reveals a heartbreaking truth -- many remote communities in rural Alaska currently teeter on the brink of total collapse. Don Rearden's debut novel dares to confront the frightening possibility of an impending catastrophic loss of human life, love, and indigenous culture.
Delivered in an authentic new voice, The Raven's Gift takes readers on an arctic journey to very real, but seemingly impossible and desolate locale. Dramatic, suspenseful, and chilling, the novel examines the contemporary life of the rich Yupik Eskimo culture, and reveals the heart of a barren tundra landscape in an unexpected collision of cultures.
Synopsis: John Morgan and his wife can barely contain their excitement upon arriving as the new teachers in a Yupik Eskimo village on the windswept Alaskan tundra. Lured north in search of adventure, the idealistic couple hopes to immerse themselves in the ancient Arctic culture. Their move proves disastrous when a deadly epidemic strikes and the isolated tundra community descends into total chaos. When outside help fails to arrive, John's only hope lies in escaping the snow covered tundra and the hunger of the other survivors. His thousand-mile trek across the Alaskan wilderness grows more improbable 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.