My Thoughts On: Under the Same Sky by Genevieve Graham

Posted March 20, 2012 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 30 Comments

Under the Same Sky
by Genevieve Graham

Published by Berkley Trade 

Publish Date:  January 3, 2012
336 Pages
My Source:  Author/Publisher

The year is 1746. A young woman from South Carolina and a Scottish Highlander share an intimacy and devotion beyond their understanding. They have had visions of each other their entire lives. And yet they have never met.  Now, with their lives torn asunder, Maggie Johnson and Andrew MacDonnell’s quest to find each other is guided only by their dreams—and by the belief in the true love they share. 

On the Carolina frontier Maggie Johnson’s family struggles to survive. Maggie’s gift of “the sight” and her visions show her a presence she calls Wolf. She watches him grow from a boy her age to a man even as she goes from child to woman. 

Andrew MacDonald has always wondered about the girl he sees in his dreams. He is able to talk to her through their thoughts and vows that even if he must cross an ocean he will find her. They are thrust into different situations: Andrew fights for the doomed Jacobite cause and Maggie is captured by slavers, then rescued and brought into a kind, loving Native American tribe. They each believe in destiny and the power of the love they have shared forever.   -(summary from Goodreads.com)


Under the Same Sky by Genevieve Graham 



My Thoughts:  I love to read books that are rich in characters and setting. I completely lucked out with Under the Same Sky. Not only are ALL of the characters absolutely amazing, but the setting – well, both of the settings – are lush and perfect. To top it off, half of the book is set in the Carolinas, and I’m a Carolina girl myself. When I heard about this one, I had to read it and you guys, before I even get started I’m gonna just recommend it to you ALL. 

Why you need to read Under the Same Sky right now:

1. The Characters. There are two different settings with two different plot lines for much of the book, which means there are a bunch of characters. But the main characters are Maggie and Andrew. 
  • Maggie Johnson. Maggie has “the Sight” which means she can see the future. She can also find things that are hidden or out of sight. Maggie has seen a boy in her dreams and visions for years, a boy that she communicates with wordlessly. He comforts her and makes her laugh, and she considers him a friend. When she is 17, Maggie’s father dies and soon after her mother is murdered. She and her sisters are taken away, raped, and mistreated – one sister dies. Malnourished and injured, Maggie manages to escape and the boy comes to her in a vision – he wordlessly points out a weapon lying closeby and Maggie uses it to kill her kidnapper. She and her sister are then picked up, taken to the Cherokee Nation, and healed by the healers of this Native American tribe. She continues to live with them for the vast remainder of the book, learning their language and customs. 
  • Andrew McDonnell. Andrew is one of three sons in his loving family. He too has “the Sight” and has always had visions of a girl that he communicates with wordlessly. He thinks of her almost constantly and dreams of the day when he can meet her face-to-face. However, when war comes to the area, he – along with his father and brothers – goes to fight for what he feels is right. Unfortunately, Andrew is the only survivor in his family. He makes it back to his home to find that his mother has been killed and the farm has been destroyed. Depressed and saddened, Andrew vows to leave Scotland and find the girl in his visions. He learns that he’ll have to cross the Atlantic Ocean to get to her – and it’ll take a long time – but that is okay. He will do anything, anything to find her
Every character that Maggie and Andrew come across in this book – be it a good guy or a bad guy – is believable and developed. Oh, how I despised the bad guys and how I loved the good ones! This complete cast is superbly written, and Maggie and Andrew are to-die-for lovable. I couldn’t get enough of them. 

2. The Story. Maggie and Andrew can see each other in their dreams while they’re sleeping or sometimes in visions while they’re awake. They communicate wordlessly at first. Over time, it seems like this gift becomes stronger – over the years they are able to talk to one another and eventually, they can touch briefly. Maggie and Andrew are good for one another in that they encourage each other when they’re both discouraged or sad. They also help each other out by seeing things or predicting things that will happen to the other one and giving warnings. Their gift is unique and awesome to read about. It’s a really fun take on a book in this genre. 

3. The Genre. Historical Fiction/Romance with some unique and awesome Paranormal. Loved it

4. The Setting. In my opinion, this is one of the best things about this book. Maggie’s story is told in America – South Carolina to be exact. She goes from her meager farm in the beginning and moves to live with the Cherokee Native Americans. These settings are described so well and perfectly – particularly for this time in history, as I am pretty familiar with it – and I loved reading about an area that is so close to home for me. 

Andrew’s story begins in Scotland, as he is a kilt and plaid-wearing Highlander. Have mercy! I am not very familiar with this area or this time in Scottish history, but clearly the author has done her research. It is well laid-out and I feel like not only did I read a book that was immensely enjoyable, I learned a little bit about some Scottish history and geography as well. I love that. The descriptions of the Scottish countryside were breathtaking, from the colors to the terrain, and I loved even the descriptions of the battle scenes and war-torn countryside

The setting in this book is amazing and if you are a reader that enjoys that sort of thing – like I am – you will love this part of Under the Same Sky. The setting alone was a sensory experience. 

5. The WritingThe story is told in multiple points-of-view between Maggie and Andrew, although this is not done with alternating chapters. There are several chapters of Maggie, then several chapters of Andrew, and so on. This was wonderful in terms of story flow and pacing, and it kept me engaged from page one until I closed the book. 

Genevieve Graham’s writing is luscious and descriptive. It is beautiful. There were several times that I actually stopped to re-read passages that I thought sounded particularly, well, pretty. The author’s language and imagery practically dropped me into Scotland with Andrew, and it allowed me to be side-by-side with Maggie as she traveled the Carolinas. Loved it 

6. The Romance. Oh, this romance, you guys! See, here’s the thing: it is a slowly-developing thing between these two young people in the beginning. They start out having visions of each other as children and the visions just carry on throughout their lives until the two realize as adults that they need each other. *sigh* The problem is they’re an ocean apart. It can’t get much more romantic than that…

The romance can’t help but be slowly-developing because of the dual settings, which is really nice. Readers are assured that this relationship is authentic because the two bond without words for years before they even can speak to each other, and then it is another couple of years before they even lay eyes on each other. Also, there is no love triangle whatsoever because these two have eyes for no one else. This is one of my favorite romances ever because they fell in love in their dreams!

Friends, I am thrilled and excited to have read Under the Same Sky. It is truly spectacular and I enjoyed every word of it. It is a wonderfully character-driven story with excellent pacing and a unique spin on historical romance. I loved the weave of paranormal and magic into the story and I was excited over both of the settings used in the book.

I would love to know more about Maggie and Andrew. But…I’m also eager to read the next book in this series – out in May – titled Sound of the Heart. Honestly, if it is anything at all like this one, I’m pretty certain that I’ll love it. Genevieve Graham is one to look out for, readers, and I highly suggest picking up Under the Same Sky if you are a fan of historical fiction or romance with a bit of paranormal


Under the Same Sky will appeal to fans of

Historical Fiction/Historical Romance

 with Paranormal/Magic 
Slowly-Developing Romance with No Love Triangle
Multiple POV
Rich Setting: Scottish Highlands, America/South Carolina

Under the Same Sky by Genevieve Graham
is currently available for purchase. 

**I received a review copy from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest opinion and review. I received no compensation for my thoughts. Thank you SO MUCH Genevieve and Berkley Trade!  

Be sure to come back tomorrow for a
GUEST POST & SIGNED GIVEAWAY
 from Genevieve Graham! 

Asheley

About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!

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30 responses to “My Thoughts On: Under the Same Sky by Genevieve Graham

  1. Wow, Asheley! I'm so, so glad to read this! I'm thrilled that the story carried you along like it did. It sure carried me. I felt like a typist, just sitting there, following the story as it flowed. I hope your readers pick up a copy!

  2. Na

    There are so many elements that make me want to read this book. One is the romance and the characters, both of which sounds great. I like that there are alternating points of view because it'll give me a chance to know more people and perhaps understand the more.

    • Thanks. A couple of people (fewer than I thought, actually!) said they didn't like that Maggie is 1st person and Andrew is 3rd person, but that's honestly how the story came to me. I think it's because Maggie's story has so much to do with the dreams and the goings-on in her head, whereas Andrew's story encompasses the land, the people, the battles. He's panoramic lens and she's zoom!

  3. I have a confession to make. Even though I read so much YA novels, I have a weakness for historical fiction, even more so if they have a paranormal twist to them. This book sounds fantastic and I am adding it to my TBR list! Thanks for featuring it, Asheley!
    NC
    Truly Bookish

    • Oh, you'll love this one. I know you will. I think it has crossover appeal, actually. Adult for when you want to get out of the YA for awhile, but still the YA crowd will enjoy it too. It's awesome. I can't wait for the next one.

    • I was shocked when some people called it YA because of the really violent scene in chapter 3. There was no way I was going to let my 11 yr old and 14 yr old daughters read it. Then I read Hunger Games … and I just handed it over. Now my kids' whole Jr. High class is reading it and none of them seem to have even blinked over what many adults are finding really disturbing. I'm not sure how I feel about that. I mean … as an author, it's great that it can appeal to YA. As a mom, I'm disturbed by how much is so easily accepted by kids.

  4. Ems

    I love that they can see each other and interact in their dreams. It seems like that would make their eventual meeting that much sweeter! Can't wait to read this series!

    • A few people objected that the couple don't physically meet until the end, but in my eyes (and in my dreams, I guess!), the journey can almost be more sweet than the destination (though Andrew is reeeeeeally sweet and worth every adventure she has to face!). I think romance is about more than kissing, etc.

      And yes, Asheley, their visions got stronger as they matured. I lived through them, too!

      I can't wait to hear what you think of "Sound of the Heart".

  5. Ashley! Every time I come to your blog lately I end up buying a book!!! I totally want to read this. I had not heard of this before. Thanks girl!

  6. It's so good, Rebecca! And I'm so excited that the next one is coming out so soon…I love that publishers/authors are doing that more and more lately! This one will be featured on the Richie's Southern Tour. 😉 Hooray for the Carolinas!

    • Ha! I love that from the readers' point of view, but as an author … well, I could write stories forever and be happy. I could put out 5 or 6 a year! But it's the promoting that is exhausting to me. I just finished promoting "Under the Same Sky" and the whole thing is starting again for "Sound of the Heart"!

  7. I love that this novel sounds completely unique and different than anything I've ever read. I'm a big fan of historical fiction, but I love trying out things that are new, as well! I'll definitely have to give this one a go!

  8. Anonymous

    I really enjoyed the detailed way that you broke down this review! The elements in this book remind me of Finnikin of the Rock (YA high fantasy) by Melina Marchetta, which also features a slowly-developing romance with no love triangle, multiple POV, and rich settings. Reading this review made me realize for the first time that high fantasy is like a blend of historical fiction and paranormal/magic. Based on the similar elements, I'm adding Under the Same Sky to my TBR list! (commenting as Justine)

  9. Oh babe, you are so right in everything you said about this book.. I am SO HAPPY you enjoyed it so much! I have read and reviewed this beauty a while ago, during a blog tour I was invited to participate in, and although romance books are not exactly MY THING, looking at the cover and reading the synopsis convinced me to read it! And I was so glad that I did! This book proved to be absolutely amazing. And it's not only a romance book.. it's a historical adventure so rich in detailed descriptions of both the characters and settings, and so flavorful, so emotional.. so mind-blowing – It's simply a book that people can not afford to miss!

    Thank you, darling, for your fabulous review 🙂 I loved reading how you felt about this book, especially since I felt exactly the same <3 Love ya!!!

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