Between Two Skies by Joanne O’Sullivan
Between Two Skies
Author: Joanne O’Sullivan
Genre: Young Adult
Release Date: April 25, 2017
Goodreads Synopsis: Hurricane Katrina sets a teenage girl adrift. But a new life and the promise of love emerges in this rich, highly readable debut.
Bayou Perdu, a tiny fishing town way, way down in Louisiana, is home to sixteen-year-old Evangeline Riley. She has her best friends, Kendra and Danielle; her wise, beloved Mamere; and back-to-back titles in the under-sixteen fishing rodeo. But, dearest to her heart, she has the peace that only comes when she takes her skiff out to where there is nothing but sky and air and water and wings. It’s a small life, but it is Evangeline’s.
And then the storm comes, and everything changes. Amid the chaos and pain and destruction comes Tru a fellow refugee, a budding bluesman, a balm for Evangeline’s aching heart. Told in a strong, steady voice, with a keen sense of place and a vivid cast of characters, here is a novel that asks compelling questions about class and politics, exile and belonging, and the pain of being cast out of your home. But above all, this remarkable debut tells a gently woven love story, difficult to put down, impossible to forget.
Jen’s Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟
REVIEW: Evangeline is that tomboy girl who just wants to enjoy the day and be a part of her mother’s diner. Even when she is taking on royal status, she doesn’t falter from her quirky ways. She is sweet and loyal to her friends. And even though her family is completely different in their wants in life and way of being, she can’t help but admire them. She is that kind of character that finds humor in the little things, and doesn’t take life too seriously.
Then she turns sixteen, ready to enjoy the next chapter in her life, when everything comes to a standstill as a storm rolls through and her life is flipped upside down. She feels the pain of it as it sinks in. Knowing that the news gave warning, that most of them didn’t take it seriously and assumed it was just another overreaction by broadcasters. She is in panic mode as she realizes most of her family has gotten out of the area on time, but several of her friends and loved ones might not have been as fortunate.
It is heart wrenching as she and the rest of the family begin to grasp the severity of the storm and what it will mean for their future. Evangeline feels lost and emotional. Having to adjust to another place, not knowing when or if they’ll be able to return to their homes. If they will find everyone else doing well. And the loss they feel knowing that the storm has claimed their town.
They must all cope with their new surroundings. Evangeline’s father not happy with the arrangements, but understanding that it must be that way in order for them to be able to keep going. To keep their minds off everything that may be lost and having to move forward even when the odds seem to be against them. Then all of them having to decide what’s best for each of them and whether staying in their new makeshift home or heading back to a place that’s not exactly home anymore, is the right thing for their family.
This is not just a story about Evangeline and the things that have gone on during the storm, but also about each individual who comes to several realizations about life, growth, wants, and more after the storm has settled and faded away.
***I received this copy from Candlewick via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.***