Karana’s life changes drastically after a tragic visit from fur traders who try to cheat her tribe. A battle follows in which many are killed, and the tribe decides it best to abandon their island home before the fur traders return. In the chaos of leaving Karana realizes her younger brother, Ramo, who has gone back to retrieve his fishing spear, is not on the boat, and that with a storm approaching, the boat will not turn back for him. Karana leaps from the boat to remain behind with her brother, but wild dogs kill him days later. Karana must now survive on her own, keep safe from the dogs, provide herself with food and shelter, and grapple with her culture’s rules surrounding the kind of work that is and is not acceptable for women.
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