Wednesday, June 30, 2010

A-Z Wednesday: Under This Unbroken Sky by Shandi Mitchell

Title: Under This Unbroken Sky
Author: Shandi Mitchell
ISBN: 9780297856580
Weidenfeld & Nicolson/2009
Pages: 256

Book Blurb

Spring 1938. After nearly two years in prison for the crime of stealing his own grain, Ukrainian immigrant Teodor Mykolayenko is a free man. While he was gone, his wife, Maria; their five children; and his sister, Anna, struggled to survive on the harsh northern Canadian prairie, but now Teodor—a man who has overcome drought, starvation, and Stalin's purges—is determined to make a better life for them. As he tirelessly clears the untamed land, Teodor begins to heal himself and his children. But the family's hopes and newfound happiness are short-lived. Anna's rogue husband, the arrogant and scheming Stefan, unexpectedly returns, stirring up rancor and discord that will end in violence and tragedy.

My views:

Teodor Mykolayenko is a good man. He is a victim of circumstances. It is his brother in law, Stefan, who is solely responsible in destroying him. Teodor's wife wife is a woman of great inner strength and has kept her family intact by that only. Her determination on the face of adversity is admirable. Her eldest son, too is a source of strength for her. One man's greed can stop at nothing. Anna too knows that and yet is somehow compelled to stay with Stefan. Her relationship with the howling coyotes too is very disturbing, very vivid. The family can overcome nature, fire, other adversities but what can it do that comes within from home?

The descriptions of the Canadian prairie and of the rough, desolate farming conditions are as beautiful as they are striking. Each and every character is very well developed despite the complexities. Sophie, Ivan and the younger children are all so endearing. And we also love Anna. And her children. This is a book which is heart-breaking at times yet we are unable to put it down. More so because of the beautiful writing. It is so poetic at places. It also speaks of facing tribulations and/or giving in to it.


Veens said...

Sounds like a good read.

Laurel-Rain Snow said...

This one sounds good...a heroic journey.

Here's mine:

Sherrie said...

Your books sounds very good. I'll have to check it out. Have a great day!

Just Books

Anonymous said...

How can you steal your own grain? And to go to prison for it? Sounds like a good book, would love to read the descriptions of the prairie and farms.

Thanks for playing!

fredamans said...

I love stories of anothers culture.

Yvonne said...

This sounds excellent.

Nise' said...

I love the books you share during A-Z Wednesday!

jlshall said...

Sounds a little bleak for my tastes. But interesting. Great review!