Friday, March 2, 2018

Review: Between Earth and Sky by Amanda Skenandore

Release Date: April 24, 2018

A slow paced but poignant exploration of the treatment of Native Americans in history from the point of view of a young, coming of age girl. Alma, the main character, is a young white girl in a unique position of growing up among Native American children at her father's boarding school for "civilizing" them. Naturally, she befriends them, and like them, she is caught between two worlds, but does she truly understand them and their situation? As an adult, she has to the face the ghosts of this past.

I really enjoyed the way this story was told, set in two time periods but told in parallel to each other. I know lots of book have used this method before, but few do it quite so well as this one. It's slow paced, but never boring. The chapters set in 1906 hint and foreshadow at something significant that happened in the past, while the chapters set in the past slowly evolve to show you what happened. Eventually, the past catches up and it all comes to a head.

Beautifully written with realistic, three dimensional, sympathetic characters, and complex relationships, this is easily the best novel on this subject matter I've read so far. I definitely look forward to what this debut author has to offer in the future.

Advanced review copy from publisher via NetGalley. My opinions are my own.

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