Bear Daughter - Judith Berman
Book content warnings:
sexual assault

I stumbled across this book completely by chance in a used bookstore. I hesitated to get it because of the (obviously) white girl on the cover, but after seeing this interview by the author that other reviewers provided, I decided to grab it. Judith Berman talks about cultural appropriation, the research that went into the book, and her displeasure with the cover.

Bear Daughter is a book set in an alternate world, based on the cultures of the Northwest Coast Native Americans and with a plot that follows many Old World European myths and traditions: a great journey, underworlds, and wizards whose power sources are found in hidden, locked boxes. Cloud, the MC, is a bear-girl, borne of one of the First People and a mortal. Her father, a bear, and her brothers, all murdered, call out to her in her sleep. They won't stop haunting her until she can find their bones and free their spirits.

Immediately, I fell in love with the writing style, Cloud, and the plot. I could not stop reading. Even at the beginning, which is fairly slow, but never boring. It's addicting, dark, and lovely, evoking gorgeous imagery. The plot meanders, sometimes a little too much, but I couldn't bring myself to mind, because I was just too caught up in the writing and the journey.

I'm pretty sure this is a book that will be one of my favorites for a very long time.