Release date - 27th April 2017
Book length - 336 pages
Publisher - blackandwhitepublishing.com
Amazon UK - www.amazon.co.uk
Amazon US - www.amazon.com
Big Bend, population 500. South Dakota, 1988. Eight-year-old Tiny Mite lives in a ramshackle farmhouse next to her grandfather’s crashed airplane and the pine tree where she trains as a spy. Goddamn is her favourite word. Taking pictures with a homemade camera is her new big thing. She lives with Bee, her apocalypse-obsessed grandmother and Luvie, her hard-drinking great-aunt. And then there’s her mother, Velvet – beautiful, heartbroken, desperate, impulsive. One night, Tiny Mite goes to the basement and hears a cry, but it’s not what she imagines and nothing will ever be the same.
Six years later, Clea won’t let anyone call her Tiny Mite anymore. Luvie is sober and Bee’s health is failing. Velvet has been gone for years, and nobody except Bee will even mention her name. Alone, angry and dressed in her grandfather’s old hunting clothes, Clea mopes through ditches and fields taking photographs until she hatches a plan with another loner, a boy with an unspeakable past.
This is a story of mothers and daughters. Of people tied by blood and home. Of moments captured and lifetimes lost. And of things never quite turning out as expected.
NOT THE ONLY SKY by Alyssa Warren is a compelling, emotional read about relationships - relationships between mothers and daughters, between other family members, and the relationship that exists between the present and our memories, even the ones you wish to forget. The story is centred around one character but split into two parts.
In the first section of the story, we get to know Tiny Mite, a unique, feisty little eight-year-old girl who hungers for a father figure, while trying to get close to her detached mother, Velvet. Stuck in Big Bend which appears to be the place that time forgot, all of the characters are struggling in their own ways, and we see and feel it all through Tiny Mite's flair for the dramatic and her homemade camera lens.
In the second part, we are confronted with Clea, who is Tiny Mite all grown up, and she isn't afraid to let the world know about her troubled emotions. Her mother is gone, her grandmother is ill, and life just isn't turning out the way she had hoped, all those years ago. But she still has her camera, and when she meets another lost soul, everything may change.
NOT THE ONLY SKY by Alyssa Warren is not a light, quick read, but a slow, in-depth emotional rollercoaster as these flawed, damaged characters try to deal with their pain. Now don't get me wrong, this story is not all doom and gloom. Throughout the narrative, a sense of love and family shines through, sometimes from the most unexpected of places, and you are swept along with the vibrant imagination and rhythm of the tale. NOT THE ONLY SKY by Alyssa Warren is told in a really unique way with vivid descriptions that really paint a picture, and while it may not be for everyone, I enjoyed reading something that is that little bit different.
I grew up in South Dakota, and after meeting my Ecuadorian husband while studying English in California, lived in Ecuador, Australia, France and UK in less than ten years, so writing was a way to feel continuity.
For the past 12 years we have lived in East London and now have three boys. I am also a printmaker and budding pinhole photographer. For more information:
Website - www.alyssa-warren.com
Twitter - twitter.com/alyssagwarren
*I want to thank Lina at Black & White Publishing, and Alyssa Warren, for the opportunity to review this novel. Happy Reading!
Hi fellow bookworms. My name is Linda and I'm a reviewer & blogger from Ireland. Oh and also a wife and mother!
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