by Julia Mary Gibson
published by Tom Doherty Associates, LLC
Debut author Julia Mary Gibson explores turn-of-the-century Native American culture, ecology, and conservation, in her historical fiction novel, Copper Magic.
The year is 1906, and on the shores of Lake Michigan twelve-year-old Violet Blake unearths an ancient talisman—a copper hand. Violet’s touch warms the copper hand and it begins to reveal glimpses of another time. Violet is certain that the copper hand is magic—and if anyone is in need of its powers, it’s Violet. Her mother and adored baby brother are gone, perhaps never to return. Her heartbroken father can’t seem to sustain the failing farm on the outskirts of Pigeon Harbor, on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Surely the magic of the copper hand can make things right for Violet and restore her fractured family. Violet makes a wish. But her ignorant carelessness unleashes formidable powers—and her attempts to control them jeopardizes not only herself, but the entire town of Pigeon Harbor.
In Copper Magic, land and waters are alive with memories, intentions, and impulses. Magic alters Violet and brings her gifts—but not always the kind she thinks she needs. First-time author Julia Mary Gibson brings Violet and her community to life in this impressive and assured debut.
My Two Cents
This book is such a stand-out...I was surprised to find that it came from a debut author! The writing is crisp and the story is captivating! Gibson did an excellent job of drawing you into the world she created. I could envision the scenes she expertly painted.
The book is definitely story-driven, though the characters are interesting--particularly Miss Nadia, Violet's boss, and the mysterious Mrs. Agosa. I would love to know their back stories!
The other interesting thing about this book is the backdrop of religion. Violet's dad has renounced the church, her mom is Native American and her beliefs aren't clear, but we know she is spiritual and believes in magic. Violet's aunt is a churchgoer, but not the epitome of Christianity, for sure! The background and beliefs of all of these characters make for some interesting questions from your kiddo...lots of questions about faith will come from this one, I can almost promise you!