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In 1848, a young boy witnesses a rare sight - the birth of a bowhead, or ice whale, he calls Siku. Years later, he unwittingly brings about the death of an entire pod of whales, and only Siku survives. For this act, the boy receives a curse of banishment. Through the generations, this curse is handed down: Siku returns year after year, in reality and dreams, to haunt the boy's descendants. Told in alternating voices, both human and whale, Jean Craighead George's last novel shows the interconnectedness of humankind and the animals they depend on.