[Review] BEAR DAUGHTER by Judith Berman
From The Desk of Liz Ensley:
Here is the review--comments are welcome. It's the first time I've written anything like this in twenty-five years. ;-)
Cloud has spent the first twelve years of her life as a bear, the happy daughter of a human woman called Thrush, and a bear father, called Lord Stink, who is one of the First People. The book opens at some point after her stepfather, Lord Rumble, has killed, and eaten the heart of, her father, and taken her mother for his woman.
A lot of people are surprised that Cloud became human. No one expected it. Cloud's lost her memories, too. The only things she remembers are glimpsed in dreams and images. There's an empty place in her, one that no food will fill. Her mother's forced to reject her, and Lord Rumble wants her dead. I mean, what's a girl to do, but run away from home when her stepfather tries to kill her?
Thus begins Cloud's journey, a travel among and between the mortal and immortal worlds, in a search to find the bones of her father and brothers, and take them to the Edge of the World so that they can be born anew, even though she doesn't quite feel up to the task laid before her. It is a journey where she will learn to accept herself, her origins, and embrace both her past, and her future, while trying to learn how to live as a human girl.
With Native American mythology as its base, Cloud's story engages you from the beginning, as you follow her quest, which is as much coming to terms with who and what she is, as to save the spirits of her father and brothers.
On a more focused level, this is a story about one young woman's struggle to come to terms with herself, a voyage of discovery to find out who she is, what is her purpose in life, to stretch and surpass her limits. It is a story of acceptance, and self-acceptance.
And, quite frankly, it's a good read.
Bear Daughter is available on AMAZON.COM, and can also be found at, or requested by, your local bookseller.