Under This Unbroken Sky. Shandi Mitchell.

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

About John Sloan

John Sloan is a senior academic physician in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia, and has spent most of his 40 years' practice caring for the frail elderly in Vancouver. He is the author of "A Bitter Pill: How the Medical System is Failing the Elderly", published in 2009 by Greystone Books. His innovative primary care practice for the frail elderly has been adopted by Vancouver Coastal Health and is expanding. Dr. Sloan lectures throughout North America on care of the elderly.
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