I love reading rag tag groups or misfits coming together to save the day. A little into the book, I realized Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee is a feminist historical fiction set in the westerns and falls under the misfits ensemble genre. Did I love reading it? Read my review to know more.
About the book
Book Name: Under a Painted Sky
Author: Stacey Lee
Characters: Samantha, Annamae, Peety, Cay, and West, Ty Yorkshire
When a middle aged, rich, white man cornered young Samantha, the same night her father succumbed to a fire accident, she did what she could to defend herself. She didn’t expect Ty Yorkshire to break his skull or his slave Annamae to walk in.
Fortunately for this Chinese American girl, the street smart runaway slave Annamae joins her flee from the law. They take on the Oregon Trail, under the disguises of Sammy and Andy, two young boys heading towards the Californian gold rush.
But when they cross paths with three young cowboys
I was kinda prepared for tackling the issues of stereotypes and racism, casual and otherwise, peppered throughout this historical fiction seeing that the characters were Chinese and African American.
But I was pleasantly surprised when Stacey Lee so effortlessly weaved the character’s beliefs, culture and ethnic backgrounds into the narrative. A huge win for the diversity factor!
While they met rather accidentally, the friendship between Sammy and Andy keeping growing stronger. Their relationship is matured and supportive of each other, and they are also hilarious! Even when we get some romance angle, their relationship stays the main focus of Under a Painted Sky.
It was easy to get lost in the genuine comradeship among the boys and emotional quotient never dipped either. I loved Stacey Lee’s writing especially the parts where she describes the rich and adventurous journey.
What worked for me
- I loved the strong friendship between Sammy and Andy. They are easily one of the best female friendships I have read recently.
- The funny repartees between the characters made me love them and wondered about a sequel already.
- Under a Painted Sky is a great example of why we need more diversity in the books, especially Young Adults. Kudos to the author for pulling it off so brilliantly.
What may have been better
- I wish we could see Sammy’s goal being reached. I mean Under a Painted Sky ended too soon for me!
Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee is all about strong female leads and their friendship. With well written characters, Under a Painted Sky is a great win for diversity! Read it as soon as you can.
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Have you read Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee? Did you love it and why? What are the other historical fictions that you read and loved recently?