The Ivory Caribou by Caroline McCullagh
Is it a love story? Or is it an adventure story? Or is it a commentary on the tragedy of war? It is all of these, and more. Award Winning Author Caroline McCullagh weaves a thrilling and dynamic story around Anne O’Malley’s genealogical search for the story of her late husband’s father that takes her to the far North of Canada to find new relatives among the Inuit culture, to Europe behind the lines in World War I, and back to the small Inuit village where she finds romance. The Ivory Caribou won Best Unpublished Novel in the San Diego Book Awards.
I think I say this a lot, but I really am such a blessed person! People send books to me to read and review, some of which I probably wouldn't have picked up on my own, and they end up being wonderful! The Ivory Caribou is one of those books. I honestly don't think I would have chosen to read this book on my own because it's not the typical kind of book that I enjoy. Most often, when I actually go to a store and pick out books for myself, I choose books that are either somewhat exciting/action packed, someone recommended them or, if they are contemporary fiction, have characters that I can relate to (around my age, similar lifestyles, things like that). The Ivory Caribou doesn't really fit any of those. But, I really enjoyed it!
Anne O'Malley is an older woman, a widow, and she doesn't have any children. I wasn't sure how much I would be able to get into her life. But I was drawn right in! Her inward struggles and loneliness reached right into my heart and there were times when, because of work and being a mom, I had to put the book down to do something and I realized that I was feeling Anne's sadness so deep that I had to remind myself that it was just a book!
I really enjoyed all of the journal entries from her father-in-law. Surprisingly, I have come to love historical fiction books lately and this has several touches of that element wrapped up in it. Such an enjoyable bonus! I also really enjoyed learning so much about the Inuit culture! Again, something that I wouldn't have necessarily expected to enjoy as much as I did. There were also a few romantic situations but they weren't “graphic” or inappropriate. Just sweet and, well, romantic!
I definitely recommend The Ivory Caribou! A very strong 4+ stars! The only reason it's not a full 5 stars is because it ended a bit abruptly. However, I realize that it's probably because this is book 1 of The Anne O'Malley Arctic Adventures series. Still, I found myself wanting a bit more in this book. Very Good though! Read it!!!
*Note: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Carrie Kurtz is a full-time mom and wife who can’t help but make time to explore new worlds in between carpooling and laundry loads. She’s trying to encourage a similar obsession with reading in her two children, and she’s grateful her husband supports her habit. She can be found at Carrie K’s Book Reviews.