Title: Harvest Moon
Author: Jenny Knipfer
Blurb: 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.
Praise for Harvest Moon
“A moving and authentic work or historical fiction, while this series is a testament to Knipfer’s skilled and versatile storytelling.” Self-Publishing Review
“Knipfer does an outstanding job of cementing place, time, and culture against the backdrop of evolving relationships.” D. Donavon for Midwest Book Review
I had originally reviewed this novel on behalf of Readers’ Favorite. As per their review guidelines, I’m unable to post my review on Goodreads or Amazon, but I’ve shared it below.
A tale of tragedy and self-discovery, Harvest Moon, the fourth book in the By the Light of the Moon series by Jenny Knipfer, takes the reader on a journey through the life and decisions of Maang-ikwe, an Ojibwe woman living during the 19th century. As a young girl, Maang-ikwe is forced to attend a Jesuit school, a way for the white men to maintain some control over the native populations. There, she meets a young incumbent priest, Ignacio. The pair decide to run away together, but they are thwarted, and the unthinkable happens to Maang-ikwe as she seeks comfort from another man she thought a friend. Paralleled with her son, Niin-mawin, the subsequent years take both on a journey to forgiveness and understanding, but also roots in Maang-ikwe the deep desire not to forsake her people’s ways.
This was certainly an interesting piece of historical fiction. I do find novels written around this time period very interesting because it shows literally how white men wanted to wipe out the culture of an entire people through the use of residential schools and cruel methods against Native American children. I can see why Maang-ikwe struggled with her beliefs throughout, and wanted to keep the Ojibwe way of life alive for future generations. Her son’s experiences were equally heart-breaking as her own. I appreciated the satisfying ending to this novel, and I won’t say too much about that, but it works so well for the story. Harvest Moon, the fourth book in the By the Light of the Moon series by Jenny Knipfer, explores so much about a past I’m sure many would like to forget, but it’s so important we remember what was done to the Native people.
Jenny 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.
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