Occasionally, a book crosses my path that leaves me breathless with wonderment and awe, as well as filled with deep respect for the author. Under This Unbroken Sky, by Shandi Mitchell is one such book. Heartbreaking and intense, delicately crafted, and stunning in its simplicity, this telling of a Depression-era immigrant family, battling the challenges of their new life upon the vast Canadian prairie, where the sky is immense and unforgiving and the winters are harsh, is unforgettable.
Mitchell's skills as a screenwriter served her well in this, her first novel. Every word is placed deliberately, with nothing wasted, and the tale she spins is one that pulls you in, as the home-steading family battles the daily challenges of the life of a farmer during the difficult years of the mid-20th century. The story itself is engaging, but what really captivates is the author's word-craft, which has moments of profound beauty.
Reminiscent of Steinbeck and Hardy, two of my favorite writers, Mitchell left me wanting to know more, as I savored every last word.
Put this one at the top of your list! Excellent read.