There have only been a few books that have impacted me as much as this one has and I have read many.
Knowing what it was about at first didn’t interest me but when I heard Shandi Mitchell read an excerpt from it I was intrigued. A book about a family growing up through the depression written by a Canadian screen writer I knew it would be one my mother in law would love but didn’t sneak a a read in first like I often do. When she finished reading Under This Unbroken Skyshe passed it along and I was between books so started reading it.
I remained skeptical, I’ll be the first to admit, and even found the first page read like a script but to a movie I’d rent so I continued to read. I am so grateful I did.
Through the eyes and minds of a family trying to find their place in Canada after their escape from Ukraine. I almost immediately fell in love with Teodore and his family, slowly discovering what makes them a loving family and grow closer through their hardships. And then there’s Anna’s family and I just loved her children and thought the arrangement was perfect in so many ways but wanted them each to have their own home, still so close to each other.
But Under This Unbroken Sky: A Novel wasn’t all new growth, rebirths and magical seeds. It was back breaking labour, crop burning fires and alcoholic abandonment. It was a tale that made the characters seem like your neighbours in that the are more than 2 dimensional. As the saying goes, no matter how bad a day you’re having someone is suffering from worse. And no matter how good or bad a person seems to be, they each have their own qualities that will have you question your own values.
And although it may seem corny for some, the only thing that I would have changed in this whole story is the name of one of the characters introduced near the end of the story.
Thanks for writing this, Shandi. Welcome to the world of novel writing one. You certainly made a big splash for your first one!
And thank you for reading,