Between Earth and Sky
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.Told in compelling narratives that alternate between Alma’s childhood and her present life, Between Earth and Sky is a haunting and complex story of love and loss, as a quest for justice becomes a journey toward understanding and, ultimately, atonement.

Between Earth and Sky Details

TitleBetween Earth and Sky
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseApr 24th, 2018
PublisherKensington Publishing
Rating
GenreHistorical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Adult Fiction

Between Earth and Sky Review

  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    January 1, 1970
    4 enlightening and engaging historical fiction stars to Between Earth and Sky! ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ Alma Mitchell’s childhood friend, Asku, is accused of murdering a federal agent. Alma’s husband is a lawyer, and he agrees to represent Asku at the trial as a favor to her. When Alma knew Asku, he was a successful student at the residential school for assimilating Native American children, and Alma had been the only white student enrolled because her father was headmaster of the school. The Stover School was d 4 enlightening and engaging historical fiction stars to Between Earth and Sky! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ Alma Mitchell’s childhood friend, Asku, is accused of murdering a federal agent. Alma’s husband is a lawyer, and he agrees to represent Asku at the trial as a favor to her. When Alma knew Asku, he was a successful student at the residential school for assimilating Native American children, and Alma had been the only white student enrolled because her father was headmaster of the school. The Stover School was designed to strip away the culture and language of its students. Between Earth and Sky is told in a dual narrative- Alma’s past and Alma’s present. The story is one that will have you questioning the real meaning of justice. This is an important story and truly heartrending. Everyone should know about the existence of these schools in United States’ history. Overall, this was a well-written book and one I’m grateful I read! Thank you to Amanda Skenandore, Kensington Publishing, and Netgalley for the ARC. Between Earth and Sky will be published on April 24, 2018!
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  • Robin
    January 1, 1970
    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 pa 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.Historical Readings & Reviews
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  • Lori
    January 1, 1970
    I just had the pleasure of a free afternoon and a pre-release reading of "Between Earth and Sky" by Amanda Skenandore! The story starts in the late 1800's when the central character's father opens an Indian School to basically strip young native Americans of their culture and save their heathen souls. The book brings up a disturbing bit of our country's History and the unjust cruel treatment of native Americans. I really enjoyed this book and strongly recommend it to any historical fiction fan!
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  • Brooke
    January 1, 1970
    This compelling novel tells the story of a girl, Alma, whose father runs a residential school on the Wisconsin-Minnesota border. The book shifts between Alma's childhood and her attempts as an adult to intervene in, and perhaps atone for, the effects of the school and white society in general on one of her Anishinaabe friends who is on trial for the murder of a reservation agent. The book is not a mystery but holds the reader's attention with the delicate unfolding of dreams, secrets, and relati This compelling novel tells the story of a girl, Alma, whose father runs a residential school on the Wisconsin-Minnesota border. The book shifts between Alma's childhood and her attempts as an adult to intervene in, and perhaps atone for, the effects of the school and white society in general on one of her Anishinaabe friends who is on trial for the murder of a reservation agent. The book is not a mystery but holds the reader's attention with the delicate unfolding of dreams, secrets, and relationships against the backdrop of an oppressive system that, with hindsight, some would call outright genocide. This book provides a good starting point for thinking about the atrocities committed against American Indians; I would even recommend it to young adult readers (there are only a few scenes of a violent or sexual nature).
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  • Deanne Patterson
    January 1, 1970
    This book is the first I've read by this author and I definitely look forward to reading more by her. I'm not even sure how to describe my feelings with this book since it broke my heart! Excellent,excellent read. When Alma was a young child her father stared a school for Indian children a “savage-taming” boarding school run by her father. Alma was the only white student there the students all had a super strict teacher. The Indian children don't trust Alma or the other whites there trying to co This book is the first I've read by this author and I definitely look forward to reading more by her. I'm not even sure how to describe my feelings with this book since it broke my heart! Excellent,excellent read. When Alma was a young child her father stared a school for Indian children a “savage-taming” boarding school run by her father. Alma was the only white student there the students all had a super strict teacher. The Indian children don't trust Alma or the other whites there trying to conform them to white ways. They are forced to give up all their customs and their language. All in the name of making them civilized citizens. Now this starts off in 1906 with Alma married and reminiscing about her time back when she was a student at the Indian school back in the late 1800's. The book goes back and forth between the two time periods explaining her time at the Indian school and her growing up years. Her father defends the Indians and says they are not "savages" as a lot say . Her mother on the other hand thinks they far inferior intelligence and will never measure up. As Alma grows up she falls in love with an Indian and he with her. Planning on running away to be with him the ultimate tragedy occurs. My heart absolutely BROKE reading the description of what happened. This tore me up :( Now in modern time Alma is married but never told her husband about this part of her life. When she finds out one of the Indian students she went to school with all those years ago is being accused of murder of a federal agent. She insists her husband who is a lawyer find facts to prove his innocence. An emotional journey through the wilds of Indian land and your mind this will make this a book for all historical fiction readers a not to miss book to treasure.Pub Date 24 Apr 2018 I received a complimentary copy of this book from Kensington Books through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.
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  • Erin Dunn
    January 1, 1970
    RTC with blog tour.
  • ABCme
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Netgalley and Kensington Books for the ARC.While education and assimilation might have been good intentions, for the Native American children taken from the Reservations and forced to become copies of White Man, Stover School is a prison. Alma is the founder's daughter and grows up stuck in the middle between right and wrong. She befriends the children and although they are forced to speak English, she learns some of their native tongue. This proves to come in handy years later, when o Thank you Netgalley and Kensington Books for the ARC.While education and assimilation might have been good intentions, for the Native American children taken from the Reservations and forced to become copies of White Man, Stover School is a prison. Alma is the founder's daughter and grows up stuck in the middle between right and wrong. She befriends the children and although they are forced to speak English, she learns some of their native tongue. This proves to come in handy years later, when one of her former classmates is accused of murder.Together with Stewart, her lawyer husband, they research the case, in order to find out what really happened.Between Earth and Sky is an amazing story. Full of indepth characters, it gives us an independent account of both sides of history. It lets the reader decide the good or bad.The writing is exquisite with clear dialogue and well described surroundings. This book is a gem. I couldn't put it down.
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  • Riddhi Mazumder
    January 1, 1970
    A murder mystery set in 1906 Philadelphia.I'm in.
  • Wendy
    January 1, 1970
    I will upload my review after Library Journal prints it.
  • Sue
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoy reading historical fiction and love it even more when I learn about events that I didn't know about while I am reading. Between Earth and Sky does just that and more. The book is about the treatment of Indian children in the late 1800s when many of them were taken from their homes and families and moved to boarding schools. Their language and their traditions were stripped away from them as they were being 'civilized'. In the second time period in the novel - 1906 - we are shown the rami I enjoy reading historical fiction and love it even more when I learn about events that I didn't know about while I am reading. Between Earth and Sky does just that and more. The book is about the treatment of Indian children in the late 1800s when many of them were taken from their homes and families and moved to boarding schools. Their language and their traditions were stripped away from them as they were being 'civilized'. In the second time period in the novel - 1906 - we are shown the ramifications of the changes that the children went through and how it affected the rest of their lives.As the novel begins, Alma is a young girl is waiting for the boarders at the new school that her father has just set up in Wisconsin. She is excited about the possibility of having so many new friends. Even as a child, she is shocked by what happens when the Indian children arrive at the school. Their clothes are burned and their hair is cut. They are no longer allowed to talk in their own language or do anything that would remind them of their past lives. Even their Indian names are changed to Christian names. The alternate time line is about Alma, now grown, who has moved to Philadelphia and reads in a newspaper article that one of her old friends from the school has been accused of murder. She convinces her lawyer husband that they need to help this young man because she felt that her friend had been unjustly accused of murder. What she learns when she travels back to Wisconsin is not only more about herself but also the results of the education that the Indian children had received at the boarding school.This is a beautifully written novel that shows the amount of research that was done by the author. I knew very little about the Indian boarding schools during this time and I was appalled at the treatment that these children received. The characters are well written and the entire novel is fantastic. This is a debut novel for this author and I can't wait to read her future books.Thanks to the publisher for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.
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  • Randee Green
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC. I have read a lot of great books so far in 2018 (according to my Goodreads Reading Challenge I’m up to 36 books so far this year), and I can honestly say that BETWEEN EARTH AND SKY by Amanda Skenandore is the best one I’ve read so far. Skenandore’s debut novel, which will be published by Kensington on April 24, 2018, is a compelling and heartbreaking historical fiction set in the 1880s and early 1900s. The novel alternates between the main chara Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC. I have read a lot of great books so far in 2018 (according to my Goodreads Reading Challenge I’m up to 36 books so far this year), and I can honestly say that BETWEEN EARTH AND SKY by Amanda Skenandore is the best one I’ve read so far. Skenandore’s debut novel, which will be published by Kensington on April 24, 2018, is a compelling and heartbreaking historical fiction set in the 1880s and early 1900s. The novel alternates between the main character’s past as the only white child attending the Stover Indian School in Wisconsin, and her present as the wife of a lawyer in Philadelphia in 1906. In 1906, Alma Blanchard Stewart is living a quiet life with her husband in Philadelphia. One morning, while reading the newspaper, she learns that a Native American man was arrested in Wisconsin for killing one of the Indian agents on the reservation. Alma knows the man who was arrested – he was her childhood friend from the Stover Indian School. Convinced that her friend has been wrongly accused, she and her reluctant husband travel to Wisconsin with the intention to uncover the truth and help set Asku Muskrat free. Alma’s mission forces her to confront her past, and leads her to realize that the assimilation of Native American’s into white culture left the children of the Stover Indian School damaged and destroyed as they were never accepted by white people and they were estranged from their families on the reservations. Alma also learns that life on the reservation is not how she imagined it would be.As a child, Alma’s father moved her and her mother from Philadelphia to La Crosse, Wisconsin in the early 1880s so that he could open up the Stover Indian School. At the time, people believed that the only way for the Native Americans to survive was to assimilate them into white culture. To do that, numerous Indian Schools were opened throughout the country to educate Native American children. The children were taken from their families on the reservations and then moved to the Indian Schools where they were forced to adapt to white society. Through Alma’s perspective, Skenandore shows what it was like for the Native American children. Upon arrival at the school, they are stripped of their native clothing and belongings. Their hair is shorn, they are given Christian names, and they are forbidden from speaking in their native languages. They are robbed of the identity. Alma’s father, as well as the other white people who work at the school, believe that what they are doing is the right thing. Even though Alma is a child, she questions what they are going to the native children. As Alma grows up alongside the native children, she learns their customs and their languages. But it is when she falls in love with one of the native boys and asks for permission to marry him that Alma realizes that she is the only one at the Stover Indian School who sees the Native Americans as her equals. I was absolutely blown away by BETWEEN EARTH AND SKY. The story is very compelling, and I love how Alma’s present plays out alongside her past. As the only white child attending the Stover Indian School, Alma is stuck in a difficult situation. She is supposed to be an example for the native children, but she also wants to be their friend. She becomes caught up in the gray area – she is a white woman who knows about and embraces not only the Native American people but their culture as well. The reader witnesses how Alma’s grows and reshapes her opinions as she learns more about the Native Americans and their plight. The story is also a heartbreaking one not only for Alma, but for all of the Native American children who were forced to attend the Stover Indian School. This is a novel about losing one’s native identity while trying to establish a place in a world that is not yet receptive to people who are not white.
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  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    I!!! Am!!! Here!!! For!!! Books!!! About!!! Residential!!! Schools!!! Seriously, they are not written about enough, and even if this is fiction, the world needs to know.
  • Suanne
    January 1, 1970
    Amanda Skenandore’s debut novel, Between Earth and Sky, looks at those deplorable Indian residential schools established in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States and Canada. In these schools, children were forced to abandon their Native American identities and cultures, forbidden to speak their own languages. Many cases of physical, emotional and sexual abuse—atrocities performed in the guise of assimilating young Native Americans into “white” culture while committing cultu Amanda Skenandore’s debut novel, Between Earth and Sky, looks at those deplorable Indian residential schools established in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in the United States and Canada. In these schools, children were forced to abandon their Native American identities and cultures, forbidden to speak their own languages. Many cases of physical, emotional and sexual abuse—atrocities performed in the guise of assimilating young Native Americans into “white” culture while committing cultural genocide of the Native American language and customs.While Between Earth and Sky blends the “past” of the 1880s with the “present” of thhe 1900s, there is not sufficient a time difference to expect “white” cultural attitudes towards Manifest Destiny to change. So there is some projection of twenty-first century perspectives here onto the said Manifest Destiny prevailing at that time.I would have liked to have seen a greater depth of response from Alma towards the two Native American deaths she experiences first hand. The level of her reaction seems less than warranted for the violent deaths of a lover and a dear friend. At the same time, Stewart, her husband’s reaction to learning that his wife was not the pristine woman he’d assumed, but that she’d had sexual intercourse with what he considered a sub-human male, was resolved overnight—again, a depth of emotion that seemed insufficient for the situation.
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  • gwayle
    January 1, 1970
    A historical novel set in the American Midwest at the turn of the last century, Between Earth and Sky is the coming of age of Alma, a white girl who befriends the students in her father’s boarding school for Native American children. The book alternates between her time at school, where she witnesses the heartbreaking and abusive tactics of forced assimilation, and years later, when she reads in the newspaper that one of her classmates has been accused of murder and rushes to his side to defend A historical novel set in the American Midwest at the turn of the last century, Between Earth and Sky is the coming of age of Alma, a white girl who befriends the students in her father’s boarding school for Native American children. The book alternates between her time at school, where she witnesses the heartbreaking and abusive tactics of forced assimilation, and years later, when she reads in the newspaper that one of her classmates has been accused of murder and rushes to his side to defend him, dragging her lawyer husband along with her. I'd love to hear Native perspectives, but my own feeling is that the author, a white woman, handled this material sensitively—she depicted a rich culture but did not presume a Native viewpoint. Alma really grapples with what she was taught, what she feels to be true, and what her Native friends tell (and don't tell) her, and I thought this struggle was the most intriguing aspect of the novel. In all, I was consistently engaged and frequently moved by this dramatic tale of friendship, first love, racism (TW racially motivated violence), injustice, and the terrible consequences of self-righteous white saviorship. Thank you to the publisher, the Goodreads Giveaway program, and NetGalley for the opportunities to read this novel in advance of its publication date.
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  • Renee
    January 1, 1970
    Between Earth and Sky is an engrossing novel of prejudice, injustice, guilt, love, and so much more. I turned the pages anxious for each chapter to unfold more of this complex story which shifts from Alma's current life to her past growing up at an Indian boarding school run by her father. The characters came alive for me, so much so, that I admit to shedding tears during certain chapters and the ending was unexpected. This book also opened my eyes to a period in history that I had little knowle Between Earth and Sky is an engrossing novel of prejudice, injustice, guilt, love, and so much more. I turned the pages anxious for each chapter to unfold more of this complex story which shifts from Alma's current life to her past growing up at an Indian boarding school run by her father. The characters came alive for me, so much so, that I admit to shedding tears during certain chapters and the ending was unexpected. This book also opened my eyes to a period in history that I had little knowledge of. I anxiously await the next book by this author.
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  • Tiffany S
    January 1, 1970
    This book...oh this book. I would not have believed it was a debut novel at all.We start in 1906 where Alma has a good life with an adoring husband. She also has secrets and they are about to disrupt everything she knows and loves.She grew on a Native American Boarding School/Mission School as her father was the Principal. If you had not heard of them, I strongly suggest this book and then reading some non-fiction on the subject. HEARTBREAKING what was done do these children.Alma befriends many This book...oh this book. I would not have believed it was a debut novel at all.We start in 1906 where Alma has a good life with an adoring husband. She also has secrets and they are about to disrupt everything she knows and loves.She grew on a Native American Boarding School/Mission School as her father was the Principal. If you had not heard of them, I strongly suggest this book and then reading some non-fiction on the subject. HEARTBREAKING what was done do these children.Alma befriends many of the students much to the dismay of her uppity mother. A few students became even her closest friends and maybe even first loves. One of these friends is accused of a crime in 1906 and she must ask her husband (an attorney) to help him.The book goes between the time she was at the school and 1906. In doing this it helps you grow to understand her and what pushes her to try to save her friend. I had a little bit of knowledge of the boarding schools before this book and after reading it (and after I was done with the kleenex) what I read broke my heart. Thank you Amanda Skenandore for giving this SAD part of our history the respect it deserved for the people who were broken as a result of it.Thank you NetGalley for the ARC.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    Between Earth and Sky is a gripping historical fiction novel that kept me enthralled throughout the novel and left me in tears by the end. It was a story that will have me thinking about this piece of history far into the future.Alma Mitchell picks up a newspaper in Philadelphia in 1906 and sees a picture of an old school friend that is now accused of murder. Asku “Harry” Muskrat has been accused of killing a federal agent on his reservation. Alma convinces her lawyer husband, Mitchell, to trave Between Earth and Sky is a gripping historical fiction novel that kept me enthralled throughout the novel and left me in tears by the end. It was a story that will have me thinking about this piece of history far into the future.Alma Mitchell picks up a newspaper in Philadelphia in 1906 and sees a picture of an old school friend that is now accused of murder. Asku “Harry” Muskrat has been accused of killing a federal agent on his reservation. Alma convinces her lawyer husband, Mitchell, to travel to St. Paul to help in the case and determine how to free Asku.Alma has not discussed her childhood in Wisconsin with her husband in much detail. She flashes back to memories of her childhood moving to LaCrosse with her family to run the Stover School. Native American children were taken from their families and sent to the school to be “civilized.” Alma’s flashbacks have her growing up with the Native American children, trying to make friends and learn their culture, but never really being one of them.As they turn into teenagers, the differences between them become more apparent. Asku is very smart and earns a scholarship to Brown, but will he be accepted by the white world once he graduates? Will he be accepted by his own people if he returns to the reservation? Why does Alma no longer visit or talk to her parents? What painful secrets does she have and will her marriage survive?I was riveted by this novel. It was a very interesting part of history that I have not read too much about. Even better was by having the story told by alternating chapters between the “present 1906” and the past “1880s” the action and storyline were kept intense. I can guess the ending of a lot of books, but this book took me for a spellbinding ride and I had no idea how it would end. It kept on surprising me.I enjoyed the characters in this story and how it opened up a dark period of American history. I had a past student bring this up to me in our chats; how Native American students were sent away to these boarding schools in Wisconsin where they were basically stripped of their heritage. I liked the journey of Alma as she realized that what she had been told as a child that it was better for the Native children to be “civilized” may not have been the truth after all. I do kind of wish the story could have actually been told by a Native American, but I will leave it to the reader whether they think this was a “white savior” story or not. I don’t want to ruin the plot.Besides the heavy historical themes, I also like that this book took a look at love and marriage. Can marriage survive when your ideals of what you think your partner is like are shattered?Favorite Quotes:“Those days in the classroom, in the wood shop, marching around the grounds . . . Did you every stop and think what they were doing to us was wrong?’“Perhaps it was best. The distance. There were too many ghosts between them tonight.”“At Brown I was too Indian to fit in. When I returned home, I was too like a white man.”“The adoration she’d seen a million times was gone from his gaze. Yet in its place was forgiveness. Acceptance. A love less perfect but more true. He squeezed her hand and she returned to her seat.”Overall, fans of historical fiction will love Between Earth and Sky. It’s a great story that I’ve been telling everyone about. I’ve read a lot of good books this year and this is one of the best I’ve read.Book Source: Review Copy as part of the TLC Book Tour.This review was first posted on my blog at: http://lauragerold.blogspot.com/2018/...
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  • Rosanne Lortz
    January 1, 1970
    Alma's father is the proud principal of Stover, a school for Indian children to cure them from their savagery and integrate them into the white man's society. From a young age, Alma grows up as the only white student at Stover, doing her best to palliate the stern indoctrination of the teachers and eventually earning the grudging acceptance of the Indians. She receives the name Azaadiins ("little aspen tree"), assuming that they call her this because of her pale skin, and participates with the s Alma's father is the proud principal of Stover, a school for Indian children to cure them from their savagery and integrate them into the white man's society. From a young age, Alma grows up as the only white student at Stover, doing her best to palliate the stern indoctrination of the teachers and eventually earning the grudging acceptance of the Indians. She receives the name Azaadiins ("little aspen tree"), assuming that they call her this because of her pale skin, and participates with the students in their secret midnight dances as they desperately cling to their old ways of life.Alma's best friend Asku (renamed Harry Muskrat by the school) has been sent from the reservation to the school by his own father, who believes that in order to succeed in life, the Indians must learn to fit in to the white man's world. And succeed Asku does, achieving so well in his studies that he is accepted to Brown when he graduates. Tumultuous events follow Asku's departure from Stover as the massacre at Wounded Knee causes white folk to narrow their eyes at the Indians--perhaps their savagery cannot be amended and they should be exterminated instead? Alma's own heart is caught up in the midst of the struggle, and she ends up banished from Stover, shut out by the world she never fully understood and bereft of her Indian friends. In the twin story strand woven throughout the novel, we meet Alma years later, married to lawyer Steward Mitchell and receiving the alarming news that her friend Asku whom she has not seen for fifteen years is to be tried for murder. Instead of embarking on the glorious career that Alma's father had imagined for him, Asku had returned to the reservation--too Indian to be accepted by the white men, and too white to be accepted by his own people. Alma convinces her husband to travel to the reservation with her and assist in proving Asku's innocence, but along the way, the secrets that she has been hiding in her past must surface, and she must decide whether a true friend honors the wishes of another or tries to "save" them despite their own desires. The treatment of Native Americans by the U.S. government is one of the more shameful episodes in our history. Amanda Skenandore explores this subject tenderly, using a narrator whose loyalties are pulled by both worlds, a narrator whose poignant self-discovery saves a difficult subject from becoming distressingly didactic. The book is slow-paced but marches inexorably towards the ending we know must come. This is my favorite book of 2018 so far, and I highly recommend it--as long as you have a tissue box handy.Disclaimer: I received a review copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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  • Romantic Intentions Quarterly
    January 1, 1970
    Alma is shocked to see a face from her past in the newspaper. Her childhood friend accused of murder. There follows an extended series of flashbacks into the evils of assimilation and civilization doctrine, in which orphaned or kidnapped Native Americans are rigorously, mercilessly instructed in a late-nineteenth-century boarding school alongside their upright headmaster’s daughter. Alma’s compassion, which her cruel mother and teacher attempt to stamp out of her, turns to first love when she fa Alma is shocked to see a face from her past in the newspaper. Her childhood friend accused of murder. There follows an extended series of flashbacks into the evils of assimilation and civilization doctrine, in which orphaned or kidnapped Native Americans are rigorously, mercilessly instructed in a late-nineteenth-century boarding school alongside their upright headmaster’s daughter. Alma’s compassion, which her cruel mother and teacher attempt to stamp out of her, turns to first love when she falls under the spell of “Harry” (real name Asku). Compelling, heartbreaking and overwhelming in its brutality, Between Earth and Sky will make you as angry as it makes you sigh. It is a romance unlike any you have ever read before. – Maura Tan This review appears in Romantic Intentions Quarterly #1
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  • Barbara Tarnay
    January 1, 1970
    This is an example of what I love about historical fiction. While it may not be "true" it is educational. I did not even know of the existence of such schools as were described in this book. Yet another sad chapter in Native American history. I think the subject matter is important and was handled in a sensitive and compelling way by the author. I almost didn't want to finish it as I could tell that nothing good was going to happen to the main characters. I am glad I did finish, although the sto This is an example of what I love about historical fiction. While it may not be "true" it is educational. I did not even know of the existence of such schools as were described in this book. Yet another sad chapter in Native American history. I think the subject matter is important and was handled in a sensitive and compelling way by the author. I almost didn't want to finish it as I could tell that nothing good was going to happen to the main characters. I am glad I did finish, although the story was emotionally draining and sad. I think more attention should be given to this chapter in American history. While history cannot be undone, I think it is important to acknowledge and remember the suffering of other humans as a reminder to keep this kind of behavior from happening again to another group and to respect the memory of those who suffered.
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  • Shannon Williamson
    January 1, 1970
    Really well done, this book destroyed me emotionally in so many ways. The tragic love story, Asku, and the overall treatment and forced assimilation of Native Americans by white people was so painful and felt so real in the book's pages. The main character, the white Alma, is naive and doesn't fully understand what's going on around her or see the tense and oppressive atmosphere at the school and town she lives in as a child. You just want to scream at her to really look beyond the surface, to s Really well done, this book destroyed me emotionally in so many ways. The tragic love story, Asku, and the overall treatment and forced assimilation of Native Americans by white people was so painful and felt so real in the book's pages. The main character, the white Alma, is naive and doesn't fully understand what's going on around her or see the tense and oppressive atmosphere at the school and town she lives in as a child. You just want to scream at her to really look beyond the surface, to see how hypocritical and terrible things are for her friends and first love, which she eventually comes to realize by the end of the novel when she's a grown adult. Literally was sobbing by the end.Highly recommend!
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  • Minerva Spencer
    January 1, 1970
    I knew going into this book that the subject matter would be painful. As a retired teacher of American history I'm familiar with with the time periods-- 1880s-early 1900s. I knew that nothing good was going to be happening to any of the Native Americans depicted in the story.I have to say that while the book is emotional, it is definitely worth reading. Studying the time period from an historical perspective is informative, but Skenandore's book takes you down to the personal level. Her writing I knew going into this book that the subject matter would be painful. As a retired teacher of American history I'm familiar with with the time periods-- 1880s-early 1900s. I knew that nothing good was going to be happening to any of the Native Americans depicted in the story.I have to say that while the book is emotional, it is definitely worth reading. Studying the time period from an historical perspective is informative, but Skenandore's book takes you down to the personal level. Her writing style is clean and compelling and the story builds in such a way that you have to keep reading. Alma is definitely a character you can identify with. She is caught between two worlds and her struggle to do the best she can is both painful and uplifting.
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  • Robin Brock
    January 1, 1970
    While slow in places, this book ultimately surprised me with its poignance. This is the story of Alma, a white girl, told in alternating chapters of her life from ages 7 to 32. She spent 7-17 (1881-91) growing up in her missionary father’s off-reservation boarding school for Indian children. It’s a story of friendships and first love, of heartache/heartbreak, and of damage and loss caused by “assimilation.” The significance of the title is especially affecting as one of the Indian boys describes While slow in places, this book ultimately surprised me with its poignance. This is the story of Alma, a white girl, told in alternating chapters of her life from ages 7 to 32. She spent 7-17 (1881-91) growing up in her missionary father’s off-reservation boarding school for Indian children. It’s a story of friendships and first love, of heartache/heartbreak, and of damage and loss caused by “assimilation.” The significance of the title is especially affecting as one of the Indian boys describes the white and Indian worlds as “like the sky and earth,...They get very close, but never touch.” There will be tears. Highly recommend.
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  • Dearna (Words of the Roses)
    January 1, 1970
    A stunning and harrowing book which looks at America’s attempt to ‘civilize’ the native Americans during the 1800s. Told through the eyes of a young white girl, Alma, who saw no different between the two races and believed in the propaganda of the time that through this re-education Native America and White American could live together in harmony. This book tore me apart and one I won’t forget for a long time.
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  • Laura
    January 1, 1970
    This was for a blog tour stop with TLC book tours. The review is posted on my blog but in short, if you like historical fiction check this book out. It's from a debut author and even though I was reading the advanced readers edition, I still thought it was a great book!
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  • Lisa Crookston
    January 1, 1970
    4.5 stars
  • Deb
    January 1, 1970
    Really enjoyed Between Earth and Sky. Review to come.
  • Emily Strelow
    January 1, 1970
    A well researched historical fiction debut not to be missed!!
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