Harvest Moon

By the Light of the Moon #4

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
291 Pages
Reviewed on 10/12/2020
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

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.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

Harvest Moon by Jenny Knipfer is one of the best books I have read in 2020. In fact, it 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. Harvest Moon, set in the far north of Ontario in the late 19th century, is the beautiful and touching history of a fictional Ojibwe family through several generations. Knipfer’s novel follows the growth of the story’s central character, Maang-ikwe, from childhood to older age. Readers watch her grow. We experience her despair at falling in love with a white priest when she has been promised to a future Indian chief. Then she is raped. Though she wants to keep the child, Niin-mawin, her family feels it’s better for her son to be raised by her aunt. It breaks her heart but she complies.

As the years pass, both mother and son (once he’s old enough to realize the aunt isn’t his mother) long to meet each other but life constantly gets in the way. The son grows up and along the way finds himself working with his biological father. As truths emerge over the years, Niin-mawin finds himself conflicted by the duality of his background: an Indian boy made over into the Englishman’s ways by cane-yielding teaching priests. His spiritual experience is similar to that of his mother decades prior ie. is the Christian God one and the same as the Ojibwe deity? Like his Indian brothers, he is no longer really at home in his native land which now belongs to the white man who is hell-bent on changing Indian lives, thoughts, and religious beliefs.

I could go on and on about Harvest Moon but it is a book that you deserve to experience for yourself. Beautifully written, it makes excellent use of dialogue to keep things moving along and give readers a much clearer and endearing understanding of each character and his/her motivations and actions. You will feel every emotion of hope, despair, sadness, and joy that Maang-ikwe and others experience. You will learn, in such an excellent way, about Canada’s history, culture, and the pastimes of the early inhabitants. And you will come away feeling you have truly shared a family’s love. Not every author can do this so realistically and elegantly. Thank you, Jenny Knipfer, for this unforgettable story.

Heather Osborne

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 white men to maintain some control over the native populations. There, she meets a young incumbent priest, Ignacio. The pair decides to run away together, but they are thwarted, and the unthinkable happens to Maang-ikwe as she seeks comfort from another man she thought was 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 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 as heart-breaking as her own. I appreciated the satisfying ending of this novel, and I won’t say too much about that, but it works so well for the story. Harvest Moon by Jenny Knipfer explores so much about a past I’m sure many would like to forget, but it’s important that we remember what was done to the Native American people.

Rabia Tanveer

Harvest Moon is the fourth book in the By the Light of the Moon series by Jenny Knipfer. Niin-mawin never felt part of the “white man’s” world. He was taught at a “white school,” he was raised away from his family and he had no idea what his past entailed. However, when he was made aware of a shocking secret of his past, he could not help but search for answers. Maan-ikwe’s biggest mistake was to fall in love. After that, she lost her honor, the love of her father, and her place in her tribe. There was no end to her misery. What was she supposed to do when she had no reason to live? Both of them were looking for consolation, yet they had no idea that their hardships were going to present them with the best life lessons they could ever imagine.

I remember reading Silver Moon and being blown away by the author’s way of telling a masterfully intricate story. Nothing has changed in Harvest Moon. I loved that each of the characters had their own story to tell and Jenny Knipfer gave them enough page space to make sure they got ample opportunities to do so. Niin-mawin’s story and his development were very relatable. I could not help but be lost in his progress, his struggles, and his determination to find the person he was looking for. Maang-ikwe’s story, on the other hand, left me wanting more and asking questions. I wanted to know why she gave up, why she didn’t fight for what she wanted, and how could she live with the life she had. The author created the perfect atmosphere for her story to truly bloom and progress. The pace was fast, the descriptions were on point and her development was incredible. There wasn’t a single thing that was out of place or didn’t make sense. I would highly recommend this historical fiction novel to anyone who loves reading stories with intricate plots and powerful characters.