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Mother Earth Father Sky (The Ivory Carver Trilogy Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Sue Harrison
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (142 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A young woman fights for survival amid the brutality of the last Ice Age

It’s 7056 BC, a time before history. On the first day that Chagak’s womanhood is acknowledged within her Aleut tribe, she unexpectedly finds herself betrothed to Seal Stalker, the most promising young hunter in the village. A bright future lies ahead of Chagak—but in one violent moment, she loses her entire way of life. Left with her infant brother, Pup, and only a birdskin parka for warmth, Chagak sets out across the icy waters on a quest for survival and revenge.
Mother Earth Father Sky is the first book of the Ivory Carver Trilogy, which also includes My Sister the Moon and Brother Wind.

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This debut novel about a woman's struggle to survive in the prehistoric wilderness will not topple Jean Auel from her preeminent position on the bestseller charts. When 13-year-old Chagak's tribe and family are massacred by invaders, she buries the dead and paddles out to sea in search of a new home. An old shaman named Shuganan befriends and shelters her but cannot prevent her forced marriage to one of the warriors who destroyed her village. The novel's only multi-dimensional character, Chagak is charming in her naivete, headstrong and determined in the face of trauma, and a proto-feminist who challenges strict gender roles by learning to be both child-bearer and hunter. The imaginative prose that wove spirituality and myth into Elizabeth Marshall Thomas's Reindeer Moon would be a welcome addition to Harrison's childlike language, slow-paced plot, and unsophisticated characterizations. Instruction in how to build a ulaq, sew suk, carve an amulet, or bone a whale cannot save her tale from intellectual and emotional simplicity, which may reflect the primitive Amerindian mindset but makes for dull reading. 100,000 first printing; $100,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild main selection.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Harrison has gone back 9000 years in time to tell the story of Chagak, a young woman who struggles to survive when her family and village are slaughtered by the warlike Short Ones. Her only ally is a crippled recluse who offers her shelter on his island. But what can either of them do when Chagak is demanded in marriage by one of the men who killed her family? Likely to be compared to Jean Auel's "Earth's Children" books, Harrison's novel is constructed on a much smaller scale, but her depiction of early American civilizations is nevertheless convincing. Chagak is a believable and appealing heroine; readers will care what happens to her. Given the popularity of fiction set in prehistoric times, this should be in demand in public libraries. Literary Guild main selection; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/90.
- Beth Ann Mills, New Rochelle P.L., N. Y.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 2007 KB
  • Print Length: 313 pages
  • Publisher: Open Road Media; 1st edition (May 28, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #82,300 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 54 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mother Earth Father Sky August 28, 2013
Prehistories are for a hard sell for me. I don't know why, but they are difficult for me to get into so when I manage to find one that holds my interest, I tend to take notice which brings me to Mother Earth Father Sky by Sue Harrison.

Like Song of the River, this piece is character heavy, but what is so remarkable is how distinct, well-rounded and realistic each cast member feels. I can't imagine what goes into painting the motivations, personality and emotional struggles of so many characters so vividly, but Harrison's effort certainly isn't wasted. In point of fact, I feel the authentic quality of her cast is what makes not just this piece, but her entire body of work so exceptional.

Speaking of relatable characters, I should probably mention my attraction to Chagak. Her path is a difficult one, but as a woman who had to overcome sexual abuse, I really admire Harrison for creating a character that doesn't allow the experience to define her life. I've seen authors attempt this story line before, but can honestly say few have pulled it off as well.

Strong characterization isn't the only aspect of Harrison's work worth mentioning. Her books are long, but they are also overflowing with cultural history. I might be going out on a limb, but I think it safe to say Harrison puts as much into her research as she does developing her plot lines and her cast. Her understanding and respect for the indigenous people of North America emanates from every page, making her work as intriguing as it is entertaining.

All told, Mother Earth Father Sky is a beautiful story of perseverance and strength amidst incredible hardship, as notable for its content as its flawless presentation.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining February 15, 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Chagrak is a young prehistoric girl whose village is massacred by evil foreigners called short ones.. She flees the village with her little brother. Later she encounters an elderly hermit and lives with him until the Short Ones arrive and make trouble. Can Chagrak fight back and reclaim her dignity?

I found Mother Earth Father Sky a gripping read from start to finish. It was difficult at times putting it down. The cover itself is nothing much... So don't let it fool you. If you like Prehistoric fiction, you'll like this one. Downsides? The beginning where the heroine's village is massacred is very cliche. Also, Chagrak is only 13, and while I know this was considered an adult back then I had difficulty envisioning her being quite that resilient. Finally, her relationship at the end seemed passionless and uninteresting. I would've liked to see some attraction between the two. There was more of a bond between her and Shuganan despite his age.

5 stars. A gripping read.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Auel! January 21, 2008
By Sunset
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Jean Auel doesn't even compare to Sue Harrison! I read the first two books in the Jean Auel's series and by the third I could not take it anymore, I just shut the book. Long and boring! I have read all six of Sue Harrison's and I recommend them to everyone. They are full of action, intrigue, history, culture, and on the sensual side. Sue Harrison really done her research, it shows through her detailed culture and vivid traditions. She truly respects the indigenous race and most importantly she wrote her characters with morals and values, making them human instead of Godless savages the way some authors write. She wrote them as they were, descendants really appreciate this.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Needlessly violent, it got old September 5, 2013
By FernT
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
So, maybe I shouldn't get a vote because I only got halfway through the book, but I thought there was an awful lot of teeth-bashing gore that didn't do much for the plot besides make you tired of it. The main character is basically the hostage of a genocidal jerk for a big chunk of the book, leaving an awful lot of room for the author to create (straight from her own head) various societal norms for various peoples of the north 9000 years ago. If she had gone for less brutality, more of a survival story (which is what the book was billed as) I would have been ok with it. Some of the details are nice, but she lost me as a reader.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love, loss, self-discovery... October 14, 2003
By Rachel
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Mother Earth Father Sky by Sue Harrison is a powerful book about a young woman who searches for a sense of belonging and ends up finding a whole new family, and, more importantly, she discovers more about her own character; through her journey, she lived through love, loss, and self-discovery. Chagak, of an Indian tribe, had just become a woman. While she was picking berries, her whole tribe was burned and killed; the only survivors were herself and her little brother Pup. After giving each one of the members of the tribe a proper ceremony of death, with her little brother, she decided to go to her grandfather's tribe to seek assistance. She ended up on an Island with a man named Shuganan. On this island, Pup died and Chagak grieved. Shuganan gave Chagak food, water, and shelter and they became friends. They shared their experiences and became very close.
A man comes to the beach and claims that he is good, but in reality, he is a killer, which is explained in his name, Man-who-kills. He impregnates Chagak with force and is very brutal toward both her and to Shuganan. The two kill him and are free from his cruelty. She gives birth to the son and he is named Samiq.
The story is then intelligently intertwined with the story of another tribe. These two tribes later meet and live amongst one another. The leader of that tribe is Kayugh and his son has not eaten healthy because his mother died and he couldn't be breastfed. Chagak agrees to feed him; she, in the end, saves his live.
Chagak, traumatized over her experience with Man-who-kills, never wants another husband for fear of being treated so harshly. Kayugh wants her as his wife. You'll have to read the book to find out what happens next.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Sue Harrison is Fantastic
Good price, good condition, timely sent. Love it. Maggie
Published 10 days ago by Maggie Blue
5.0 out of 5 stars Good trilogy.
Good much so that I sought out her other trilogies/works through Amazon. Really like the details she weaves.
Published 16 days ago by Terry Treadway
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good deal and great read
Published 28 days ago by cecil r teague
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost as riveting to me as Jean Auel's Earth Children
Nicely written and engaging. Clearly used research of the period to creat a world of prehistoric tribes including how weather events molded existence
Published 1 month ago by Sheryl Story
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyed this book very much
Enjoyed this book very much...I ordered the two sequels the other day and have begun the second book....worth the money!
Published 2 months ago by jkatz
4.0 out of 5 stars interesting
This is a light read but vivid and captivating. The author draws you in to the scene and you can almost feel the wind, sea and emotions that the characters are feeling. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mobayladie
5.0 out of 5 stars Set the clock back and enjoy.
Life, as we know it hasn't changed much in 8000 years. Somebody still wants what someone else has and will do the same then as know to get it. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Tc991
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written
I was sad this book was over. First I have read by this author and it will not be the last!!
Published 6 months ago by Laurie Irwin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 6 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good story
Published 6 months ago by Kindle Customer
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