Nutaaq and her older sister, Aaluk, are on a great journey, sailing from a small island off the coast of Alaska to the annual trade fair. There, a handsome young Siberian wearing a string of cobalt blue beads watches Aaluk “the way a wolf watches a caribou, never resting.” Soon his actions—and other events more horrible than Nutaaq could ever imagine—threaten to shatter her I~nupiaq world. Seventy years later, Nutaaq’s greatgranddaughter, Blessing, is on her own journey, running from the wreckage of her life in Anchorage to live in a remote Arctic village with a grandmother she barely remembers. In her new home, unfriendly girls whisper in a language she can’t understand, and Blessing feels like an outsider among her own people. Until she finds a cobalt blue bead—Nutaaq’s bead—in her grandmother’s sewing tin. The events this discovery triggers reveal the power of family and heritage to heal, despite seemingly insurmountable odds.
Two distinct teenage voices pull readers into the native world of northern Alaska in this beautifully crafted and compelling debut novel.
Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Inupiat -- Juvenile fiction.
Inupiat -- Fiction.
Family life -- Alaska -- Fiction.
Villages -- Fiction.
Tundras -- Fiction.
Influenza Epidemic, 1918-1919 -- Fiction.
Alcoholism -- Fiction.
Alaska -- History -- 1867-1959 -- Fiction.
Alaska -- History -- 1959- -- Fiction.