The Wolf in The Whale
The Wolf in the Whale by Jordanna Max Brodsky
This book was a joy to read. It seamlessly blended Inuit and Norse mythology to make a really compelling story. This story covered so many themes and issues; familial loyalty, survival, rape, gender identity, friendship, gender roles and love.
The story follows Omat, an Inuit living with her tribe somewhere in the north-eastern Artic. Omat was born on the same night that her father died, and by Inuit tradition, she was considered to have inherited her father's spirit, because she survived when the tribe thought she would have died. She is raised by her grandfather and aunt, alongside her male cousin, Kiasik, and is called "little brother" and "little son". This shapes how Omat thinks of herself, which is having a male spirit. She is being raised to become a hunter and the shaman of her tribe, and because of this, she thinks of herself as being male, since in the Inuit tradition, only males can occupy those roles.
Omat's life is turned upside down when a new tribe makes contact with hers. This sets of a series of events that set her life on a collision course with the Norsemen who have come to this part of the earth looking for glory and wealth. However, a twist to this confrontation between two different tribes is that it also pits the Norse gods and Inuit Spirits against each other in a surprising way.
This story was touching, interesting, well written and really educational. Highly recommend it!