On the Mountain by June O’Brien is a unique mixture of story-telling, poetic imagery, and mysticism.
Set in the wilderness region of the Northwest, we are introduced to Ruby, a visionary medicine woman caught up in her latest calling to a particular area on the mountain. She readies herself for a journey, feeling the strong pull, but not knowing exactly what lies ahead. After a perilous drive, she parks her car and waits. As dawn lights, she recognizes with fear and trepidation, an Old One, a come-to-life mythical Sasquatch creature that persist in global folklore. Though no longer young, Ruby knows she must heed to call wherever the Old Ones take her. Thus, begins a book that defies genre description, though the new “visionary fiction” category probably is the best bet. The author’s personal lineage of medicine women and healers and knowledge of Native American traditions forms a fascinating foundation for the first book in the Blue Child Series.
While this is Ruby’s book, we are also introduced to her sisters, Agnes and Grace, who both have special talents and missions related to their Native American heritage. By the end of On The Mountain, many questions are raised that must be answered in the sequels. Who exactly is this Blue Child? For that matter—who or what exactly is Ruby? What powers on earth and in the stars are working on the planet?
O’Brien’s writing style is fluid and poetic, painting the scenes in the mind like a literary Monet. It’s a beautiful and intriguing book. Definitely out of the ordinary. Take an imaginary trip—On The Mountain.
June O’Brien is an award winning author living in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. She is a member of the Nansemond Tribe, has degrees in psychology and counseling, and has published two collections of poetry and two books of fiction: The Blue Child Series: On the Mountain, and The North Road.
She is from a culture in which seeing spirits, visiting with them, and being summoned are not unusual. She knows the spiritual gifts of wild plants, gathers them and makes medicine for the body and for the soul. This knowledge is woven into The Blue Child Series.
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Great review! I loved this book and the second one is even better. Everything she writes is a beautiful piece of art.