Mitchell, Shandi. Under This Unbroken Sky. Penguin New York. F; December 2010.
Wonderful, and wonderfully horrifying. Mitchell never departs from the realistic and sympathetic in describing the hideous privations of these Ukrainian Canadian settlers in the dirty 30s. And she creates a wonderful psychopathic Iago style villain in Stefan, (!!!) who eventually rats out of the sinking ship that results in his wife’s and brother-in-law’s violent death. The main protagonist is that brother-in-law Teodor, hard-working, practical, and comprehensively responsible for whoever needs his help, swallowing Stefan’s destructive behavior and just plodding on. But eventually flawed by lacking the imagination that drives Stefan’s viciousness. I was never bored, although the grasshopper-and-ants idea drove the plot all the way through. There was a tremendous amount of morality, humanity, love, humor, and struggle centering on home that of course was all right up my alley. 8.6