Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Book Review : Under This Unbroken Sky by Shandi Mitchell

Under This Unbroken Sky: A Novel

"There is a black and white photograph of a family: a man, woman, and five children. Scrawled on the back, in tight archaic script, are the words Willow Creek, Alberta, 1933. This will be their only photograph together"

It goes on to describe the picture, how they are posed, what they are wearing and their future.

As soon as you read it, your hooked. The curiosity is so strong that I couldn't put it down, I had to see what happens to this family.

It’s a story of 2 family's , immigrated from the Ukraine to Canada, in the 1930's. One family with 2 kids and a dad that is never home. The other family with 4 children and a father who returns from being in jail , "600 days and nights. Four hundred and eighty thousand steps paced in an 8x8 foot cell", as he recalls.

Theodor and the oldest son Myron, prepare the land to sow the wheat . It’s a back breaking job, plowing, clearing the rocks. It takes them 4 days to finish 1 row.
It also tells of the children working on their chores, washing the clothes, tending to the animals, preparing the food.

They have some fun times and some very bad times and then the happiness goes away.
The story never gets boring, so many twists and turns and oddness. There were parts where you laugh with them, punch and yell and scream, cry and wish you could hold each child and tell them its going to be ok.

I read this for the Barnes and Noble First Look Club. I didn't really post anything on the boards, I didn't feel I had anything more to contribute, there are so many great posts. To read the posts go to: http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/bn/board?board.id=UnderThisUnbrokenSky

There are also some photos posted on the message board from the National Archives of Canada . After looking at them, I was able to picture the family and their living conditions more vividly.

Awesome read, I highly recommend!

About the author:

Shandi Mitchell spent her childhood on a military base in the Prairies but now makes her home on the East Coast of Canada. Her award-winning films have been featured at festivals across North America, and Under This Unbroken Sky is her first novel.


Anonymous said...

I think I am having a deja vous.... yesterday i found this book on Ryans blog and thought it sounded wonderful.... even used it for the Morning Meandering... then today I have come across it two more times.

It sounds so good and up to yesterday I had never heard of it!

Amy said...

This book sounds right up my alley! I love your review and the cover of the book is such a pretty color! (I've got a thing for book covers!) Thank you for the review & recommendation, I added this book to my TBR list!

How does Barnes & Noble's First Look Club work?
Thank you!

By the way, Karin Slaughter's book Undone is very good, I loved her 3 main characters, the 2 detectives and the doctor. It's just that it was very graphic and I sort of skimmed those parts of the book which, fortunately you could tell when they were coming up! I haven't read any other books by her and I wonder if they are all so graphic & violent? hmmmm...
Thanks for coming by my blog!


Natalie W said...

Hi Bookjourney! Well it must be a sign, you have to buy it now LOL!

Thanks Amy! I don't remember Slaughters other book being very graphic or maybe i'm so used to it, i read alot of murder mysteries.

Missy said...

I always enjoy finding new authors that write stories such as this. I'm adding this to my list. Thanks for your review and sharing this new book - I can't wait to read it!

Canada said...

I read this book in two days flat and I know that, had I had the time, I would have read it in one sitting. This is a book that grips you, draws you in and leaves you feeling a slightly better person for having read it.