There's a first time for everything and today is a big first for Let's Book It. For the first time ever, I am including a book trailer with my review. You'll have to let me know if you like it. I think it's kind of cool to have video and I love the trailer itself.
On to the book. It is totally unbelievable to me that this is a debut novel. Ms Graham writes like she has been publishing for years. Under the Same Sky is beautifully written over two settings: South Carolina, USA and Scotland - both in the year 1746. Both settings are brilliantly described and, therefore, easily 'seen' in the reader's imagination. Genevieve Graham's characters are well developed and complex. None are spared the challenges and calamities common to the era. The history comes across as well researched. All of these points together give the novel good bones - a strong skeleton, so to speak.
The story that fills in the flesh of the skeleton is equally as good. For all of you magic lovers, the magic in this one is lovely. Andrew and Maggie have the connection we all dream about. Although they have never met and live half a world away from each other, they are connected; they know one another and have grown up always in contact with each other in their dreams. Neither questions the reality of the other. Neither questions that they will somehow be together someday.
It was refreshing to read a romance novel in which the characters go through trials, tragedy, horror, growth and maturation by drawing on their own strength as well as the strength of knowing their true love is out there supporting them. It's not one of those 'boy meets girl; events happen; boy and girl are separated/hate each other/fight with each other/overreact to misunderstandings; boy and girl finally get together' books. It is refreshing and heartening that each member of this couple is in the others corner from the get go. But will they ever meet? Will they overcome the one obstacle in their path: geographic distance? How? I know because I've read the book - but I'm not telling.
There was a moment while I was reading this beautiful story when I suddenly became very afraid that it was the first in a series. In almost the same moment, I was hoping it was the first in a series so that there would be more. Under the Same Sky is a stand alone book - and an extremely satisfying stand alone book. I can't wait to read more from Genevieve Graham.
Character Development 5
Violence 3 – not very graphic but war scenes and rape scenes
A Taste from page 31:
Somewhere beyond the trees, the river waited. The horses plodded through rough deer trails, where there was no breeze, no soothing touch of coolness, only whining bugs who didn't mind sweat and dirt on their meal. My captor's chest pressed against my back and I could smell his shirt, drenched with sweat like the withers of our horse.