• Paperback: 352 pages
• Publisher: Harper Perennial (August 24, 2010)
Spring 1937. Ukrainian immigrant Theo Mykolayenko returns to his wife, Maria, and their five children after nearly a year spent in prison—two hundred and seventy five days and nights, each a scratch on his cell wall—for the crime of stealing grain. Scrapping to make ends meet during Theo’s absence, the Mykolayenkos had been living under the care of Theo’s sister, Anna, on the harsh and unforgiving Canadian prairies. Now, home at last, Theo has determined to make a better life for them all. Channeling the willpower that enabled him to survive drought, starvation, warfare, and Stalin’s crimes in the Ukraine, he takes to the land with great resolve.
As the crops grow, so do the strength of his children and Theo’s fierce pride. But family peace is quickly disrupted by the return of Anna’s rogue husband, Stefan. Tensions between the two men heighten as Stefan increasingly treats Theo like a hired hand and demands a cut from the sales of the crops. Soon, the family is splintered—with brother pitted against sister, son against mother, and in a disturbing twist, a new mother against her newborn.
Building to an unforgettable climax, this is the story of an immigrant family trying to find their way in a new world, where small and innocent acts have enormous and catastrophic consequences. It is a harrowing tale of fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, sisters, and brothers whose desperate hands till the earth, while equally desperate minds plot much darker deeds. Everything that the Mykolayenkos have hoped for, dreamed of, worked for beyond exhaustion is now at stake—their loved ones, and their lives. Rich in emotion and suspense, this sublimely crafted first novel hails the arrival of a superbly talented literary voice.
Shandi Mitchell is an award-winning Canadian filmmaker and screenwriter. Her short films have screened at numerous international festivals, and she is a recipient of a Canada Council for the Arts endowment. Mitchell spent her childhood on a military base on the prairies and now makes her home in Nova Scotia on the east coast of Canada, with her husband, Alan, and their dog, Annie. Under This Unbroken Sky is her first novel.
Visit Shandi at her website, www.shandimitchell.com.
Shandi Mitchell’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS
Tuesday, August 24th: Til We Read Again
Monday, August 30th: The Lost Entwife
Tuesday, September 7th: Raging Bibliomania
Friday, September 10th: Reading at the Beach
Monday, September 20th: Rundpinne
Tuesday, September 21st: Lisa’s Yarns
Friday, September 24th: Devourer of Books
Tuesday, September 28th: Fizzy Thoughts
Thursday, September 30th: Bibliofreak
Monday, October 11th: Peeking Between the Pages