Saturday, October 31

Book Review: Under This Unbroken Sky

Title: Under This Unbroken Sky

Author: Shandi Mitchell

Pages: 352

Summary: 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 Rating: 7.5/10

What I liked/disliked about the book: The writing style of Shandi Mitchell is lovely, a elegant poetic style, that slides off the pages. The descriptions were written like passages of poetry reminding me a lot of Fugitive Pieces. Although I can definitely see some being turned off by this style of writing.
The story it’s self was good, but not great. It hit the nail on immigrant families trying to survive in Canada, the life of poverty and living day to day, as well as a family dynamic when tragedy hits, but at times I found it to be boring and repetitive and very depressing. I liked the “depressing” themes, because what this family goes through is hardship after hardship, but I wish it was executed in a different way, to prevent some of the respective aspects of it, still a good read, but different then what I was expecting, but I see a lot of talent from this author, and hope more novels by her.

Would I recommend it to read: I would recommend the book, but to select readers, because of the depressing tone, I think some may be turned off the story, it’s good to read about the struggles the family went through, but it’s not a very uplifting book, and I think there would be a few who would find the writing style choppy.

What to read next: Fugitive Pieces by Ann Michaels, because at times the poetic writing style reminds me of it.

Challenges: 100+ Challenge, 999 Challenge, 2010 Countdown Challenge, A - Z Challenge,
Fall Into Reading Challenge


  1. I enjoyed this book quite a bit. I'm glad to read other reviews of it.

  2. I think I might like this book. I really like lyrical writing, and sometimes I like a novel that really explores the sadness and drama of it's characters. It sounds like you really liked it, and I'm glad that you did. I will be putting this book on my wish list because the story and it's execution sound really interesting. Thanks for the great review!