Under This Unbroken Sky

Under This Unbroken Sky

A Novel

Book - 2009
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Western Canada, 1938. Ukrainian farmer Teodor Mykolayenko returns to his family, who have been living with his sister Anna, after a year spent in prison for the crime of trying to feed them. Channelling the great inner power that enabled him to survive drought, starvation, war, and Stalin, Teodor farms the land and watches his family heal and strengthen. But their hopes are short-lived when Anna's rogue husband returns with a plan that threatens to take away everything they've built.
Publisher: Toronto : Viking Canada, 2009.
ISBN: 9780670068081
Characteristics: 354 p. :,ill. ;,24 cm.


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Oct 12, 2020

Brace yourself for hardship and sadness beyond what most of us will ever have to endure. But also descriptions of a hard life so real that you are transported to the prairie, can smell the dust, feel the heat and your muscles ache from the toil. I had to put it down at one point as COVID was hard enough, but glad I finished it.

Jul 08, 2014

About twenty years ago, in Winnipeg, I saw a bumper sticker that seems to sum up this book: "Life is tough, then you die". This story of frontier pioneer life is a close psychological study of an isolated extended family. The ending leaves this reader with the hope that there will be a sequel that examines the impact of childhood experiences on the characters as they enter adulthood during and after the Second World War. Author Shandi Mitchell writes to all five senses; and with a fast paced juxtaposition of point-of-view (similar to watching television) especially in the last two-thirds of her novel.

Jan 04, 2014

beautiful story, heartbreaking in the style of Pearl Buck's "the good earth".
Ukrainian immigrants trying to settle down in the prairies in the 30's. Excellent book, could not put it down. I felt I was living in the cabin with the family, hoping for better days.

childx4 Nov 27, 2013

Family struggles on the Candian prairie during the depression years. Couldn't put it down and yet I was afraid to read on because of fear of what would happened to this struggling family on the next page, the nexp chapter.

Jan 03, 2013

A story of two immigrant families and their complicated relationship of love and hate which eventually leads to their downfall. The characters are all very distinct and contribute an important part in the outcome.

I could not put this book down. I admired the strength and courage of these immigrant families. I enjoyed it from the historical aspect but also as an admirerer of the determination of the human characters portrayed. The novel also illuminated just how much the human spirit can take before it is finally broken. It is a story that I will not forget.

KatSu Aug 14, 2012

Different from my norm, was well written, actually that is what kept me reading, will look for more from this author

Jul 06, 2012

Interesting read but very slow-moving. Great writing about the immigrant experience of the 1930s in Canada. I'd give it a 7 out of 10. (July 2012)

Sep 30, 2011

I picked this one up and couldn't put it down. It's the story of two families trying to make it homesteading in Alberta in the late 30's. If nature and the treatment from "established" families wasn't enough, the families themselves are their own worst enemies. I loved Teodor but all the characters felt very real.

May 20, 2011

This was such a compelling, beautifully told story. It really gave me a new perspective on the lives that built this country and the struggles they faced. Phenomenal.

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