Thursday, May 3, 2018

Review: Between Earth and Sky by Amanda Skenandore

 Between Earth and Sky
by Amanda Skenandore

Publisher: Kensington Publishing
Pages: 304
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  On a quiet Philadelphia morning in 1906, a newspaper headline catapults Alma Mitchell back to her past. A federal agent is dead, and the murder suspect is Alma’s childhood friend, Harry Muskrat. Harry—or Asku, as Alma knew him—was the most promising student at the “savage-taming” boarding school run by her father, where Alma was the only white pupil. Created in the wake of the Indian Wars, the Stover School was intended to assimilate the children of neighboring reservations. Instead, it robbed them of everything they’d known—language, customs, even their names—and left a heartbreaking legacy in its wake.

The bright, courageous boy Alma knew could never have murdered anyone. But she barely recognizes the man Asku has become, cold and embittered at being an outcast in the white world and a ghost in his own. Her lawyer husband, Stewart, reluctantly agrees to help defend Asku for Alma’s sake. To do so, Alma must revisit the painful secrets she has kept hidden from everyone—especially Stewart.

Kritters Thoughts:  Alma Mitchell is living a "normal" life when a newspaper takes her back to a time and place of her childhood and she has to go back there and help.  Her father was a part of creating a school where Indian children were schooled and she was the only white student.  The newspaper article is about a school mate and she feels as though she has to go back and help him through this trial.  

Although at times it made for hard reading at the same time I appreciated the honesty of including the authentic Indian words and language.  It made for slower reading, but it made it a much more honest read and I respected the inclusion of the words.  

The thing that stuck out for me with this book was the lesson that is hit on quite a few times was the question - did the lessons and such really help the Indian population?  Did "we" really "help" them or were we trying to impose our own ideals on their community?  It was hard to take a step outside of myself and my narrative and really question whether the things that these people were doing were helping or harming this community.  I wonder what the Indian community would be if "we" hadn't done what we did to/for them.

This wasn't my favorite historical fiction book because the reading experience was difficult, but it was unique and different because of the time period and focus.  I can appreciate a book that still teaches me something in an interesting way and opens my eyes to something that I was clueless about before reading.  

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.


  1. Thank you for the review. I like the background and setting of the school. Not something done which I've read anyway.

  2. Thanks for being a part of the tour. I'm really looking forward to reading this one - this part of history is really horrible and also fascinating to me.


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