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Under This Unbroken Sky by [Mitchell, Shandi]
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Under This Unbroken Sky Kindle Edition

4.1 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Length: 356 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
Page Flip: Enabled

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Product Description

Review

utterly gripping.. Beautifully pitched and unsentimental in execution. Brilliant. (Eithne Farry MARIE CLAIRE)

A beautiful story about two families who have nothing, yet manage to strip each other of everything (EASY LIVING)

Beautifully drawn characters, flawless descriptions of an unrelenting landscape and the intricate plot add to this harrowing, breathtaking novel... Not to be missed (SHE)

This stunning first novel is powerful, tragic and utterly gripping (THE TIMES)

Shandi Mitchell's impressive debut may not sound like your typical beach read but this tautly controlled epic should keep those in search of some holiday literary escapism hooked until the last page all the same (Claire Allfree METRO)

such is Mitchell's grasp of plot and character and pace that she can keep it that simple and still manage to hold the reader (BOOKBAG.COM)

impressive control of the subject and a stunning depiction of the natural world (Catherine Taylor THE GUARDIAN)

Book Description

An extraordinary family and an unrelenting landscape combine to create an epic story of survival and redemption.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 865 KB
  • Print Length: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (27 Aug. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0753826623
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753826621
  • ASIN: B002U3CBAW
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #603,419 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I'll be honest, I had reservations. The old cliché you should never judge a book by its cover is always a questionable one. Covers can say so much. The soft, light tones of the landscape on the cover of Under This Unbroken Sky politely whisper 'sentimental, romantic drama', long grass dancing gently in the foreground, two birds drifting in the sky above. And then there's the author's name. Shandi. Shandy? Well, that's just a substitute drink for when you can't take the real thing, is it not? The PR draws comparisons with the likes of John Steinbeck and Cormac McCarthy, and these could easily end up as unflattering ones. But, nope, this is the real deal and another cliché quickly replaces the old one - I couldn't put this book down.

Under This Unbroken Sky is a gripping tale well told. A brave, confident and uncompromising debut from a new voice surely destined for great things. For me the first half of the book is all about character. The character of the two central Ukrainian immigrant families and even more so the character of the Canadian Prairies where they find a new home. Protagonist Theo Mykolayenko cultivates and renews this land, but it also transforms the families. And then around halfway through, THWACK, a torrent of blows batters you and doesn't let up until the final page. Each turn of events more devastating than the last, fearlessly addressed by Mitchell in the most brutal of terms.

I believe a key ingredient to a classic novel is to leave the reader feeling somewhat empty and lost after finishing it. Under This Unbroken Sky had such an effect on me and I was compelled to return to the opening chapter with hindsight in tow. A book for all seasons, I can't wait for the next one.
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By Mr Gumby TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 14 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The author spent her childhood on the Canadian Prairies, so is well-qualified to write a book set there.

Teodor Mykolayenko and his family escape from the Ukraine under Stalin to start a new life on the Prairies. They endeavour to make a living, working as hard as possible, but people and events conspire to make their circumstances even tougher, the authorities and extended family doing their best to undermine their efforts.

The story is so well told that I felt I knew the family personally. The author has an unusual, rather abrupt writing style that I thoroughly enjoyed. She does a wonderful job of painting life in a tough environment. The book may be distressing in places, but it's compelling too, gripping from the start.

I have never said this before in a book review, so it is no cliché for me, but I couldn't put it down and had to read straight through, completely absorbed.

This is a book you mustn't miss. It's brilliant. Roll on the next one.
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By C. Colley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 2 April 2010
Format: Paperback
This descriptive story follows a Ukranian immigrant family on the Canadian Prairies in 1938. Having survived Stalin's labour camp, the Mykolayenko family face another struggle, trying to survive the cruel but beautiful landscape of rural Canada.

Theo Mykolayenko returns to his family after a year spent in prison. Along with his wife and children, Theo works relentlessly to build up the family homestead. Theo's hard work could be in vain due to the return of his brother-in-law, Stefan. Stefan is hell-bent on ruining their lives and taking it all away.

I really loved this story and particularly liked the setting and the slow menacing plot. The ending is tragic and unforgettable.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
There's no doubt that this is a well-written and thought-provoking book, but I'm afraid it wasn't for me. I found it so depressing that I actually felt it was bringing my mood down when I was reading it. It's the story of a Ukranian family who have escaped the rule of Stalin to move to Canada, but even that doesn't work out when the father of the family is imprisoned for keeping some of his own grain. Here begins a story of immense sadness, with very little light relief to be found.

As I say, there's no doubt it's well-written and lots of people have loved this book, but it just didn't do anything for me.

Off to read something more upbeat now!
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By Celtes VINE VOICE on 26 Nov. 2009
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Shandi Mitchell's novel tells the tale of an immigrant Ukranian family living and working in Canada. The book follows the struggles of Teodor, his sister and neighbour Anna, and their families as they work the land and try to earn a living in the harsh Canadian Prairies.
Teodor returns to his wife and family at the beginning of the novel following time in prison for stealing his own grain. All appears to be going relatively well until the return of his alcoholic brother-in-law, Stefan. His return leads to tragedy... not only for Teodor and his family but for Stefan's own family also.

I found this book an extremely interesting and powerful read. I think it spoke to me on a very deep level as I myself am from a farming family. Sadly, I was able to relate to many of the issues of working together so closely as a family and the conflicts that arise from this situation. This book portrays aspects of the farming family life that are relevant- even in today's society. The conflict between the hard- working Teodor and his arrogant, alcoholic, delusional brother-in-law is wonderfully portrayed. As a reader, and through my own personal experiences, I could feel Teodor's frustration and despair as Stefan tried to steal all that he had worked for.

All the characters in the novel are very well portrayed but it is the characters of Stefan and his son, Petro, that are terrifyingly real to me. Petro's need to please his father and his delusional desire to be like him stands out to me personally as such a terribly tragic part of this novel. I think the author's skills are shown here as the reader is left feeling both anger and pity towards the young boy.

The setting of this book is described beautifully.
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