Author(s): Shandi Mitchell
Set in 1938 on the Canadian Prairies, Under This Unbroken Sky, tells the story of a farming family from the Ukraine who, having survived war and Stalin's labour camps, set out to make a living from an unrelenting land in a new country. the harsh vicissitudes of farming life and tensions within the family combine to generate a conflict that ends in tragedy. This is the harrowing and magnificent tale of an immigrant family whose desperate hands work the earth and preserve its gifts, while equally desperate minds plot much darker deeds. Nearly all is lost when a brother is pitted against a sister, a mother against her newborn, with dramatic and breath-taking consequences.
Breathtaking fiction set in an expansive landscape Lots to discuss for reading groups including immigration in the early 20th century, injustice in the land ownership schemes at the time, the struggles of foreign families wanting to settle down and work hard, the unrelenting landscape A compelling read from start to finish Think Steinbeck, Jane Smiley, Willa Cather (My Antonia), Little House on the Prairie An amazing cast of characters: two families who slowly go into battle against the elements and then each other with this wild and unremitting landscape as their backdrop Lots of recipes from the 'old country' including moonshine!
Winner of Commonwealth Writers' Prize Best First Book - Caribbean and Canada 2010.
Shandi Mitchell spent her childhood on a military base in the Prairies but now lives on the East coast of Canada. Under This Unbroken Sky is her first novel.