Raising The Stones by Sheri S. Tepper
A moving, compulsive science fiction novel from one of the best writers in the field
When the human settlers arrived on Hobbs Land, the native intelligent species, the Owlbrit, were already almost extinct. Before the last one died, a few years later, the humans had learned a little of their language, their ideas and their religion. It seemed the natural thing for the settlers to maintain the last Owlbrit temple, with the strange statue that was its God. When that God died - disintegrating overnight - it seemed equally natural to start preparing its replacement.
Maire Manone came to Hobbs Land to escape the harsh patriarchal religion of Voorstod, but Voorstod hasn't forgotten her - or forgiven her. But the men who arrive on Hobbs Land to find and return Maire to her homeland haven't taken Hobbs Land's God into account ...