MY SISTER THE MOON by Sue Harrison
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A second foray into prehistory by the author of Mother Earth Father Sky (1990). And we're definitely talking prehistory, circa 7000 B.C., in the Aleutian Islands, where the sons of the orphan Chagak and her chieftain husband, Kayugh (both of the First Men tribe, and from Harrison's first book), share a passion for the same woman--Kiin, the viciously abused daughter of Grey Bird. When gain was just a babe, Kayugh promised her father that he'd marry her to one of his boys--and it's expert knifemaker-son Amgigh who gets her because his brother, Samiq, must go to the island of the Whale Hunters to learn how to hunt the whale, a skill that he's to bring back to his own people. But before Samiq goes, Amgigh lets him sleep with Kiln (as is the right of a husband). Then, however, Kiin's abducted by her awful brother Qakan (who tells Amgigh that she has died). He rapes her and sells her to Raven, a would-be shaman among the Walrus People who thinks that the twin sons Kiln bears will bring Raven power. But when Qakan falls out with the Walrus People, he steals Kiln again, resulting in his long overdue death at Raven's hands and a reunion between Kiln and the First Men. And this is where one would think the story would end, except that Harrison has a few more tricks up her sleeve--of the sibling Sturm and Drang nature--meant to make followers queue up for book three. Harrison does prehistoric inner life better than anyone, and Kiin's abuse strikes familiar chords without seeming at all anachronistic. The author is not, however, a master plotter, which frustrates but still shouldn't keep prehistoric-fiction fans stuck in their Jean Auel.

Pub Date: March 13th, 1992
Page count: 480pp
Publisher: Doubleday