Between Two Skies

Written by Joanne O’Sullivan

Joanne O’Sullivan has written a powerful novel about Hurricane Katrina and the impact on a small town in Louisiana called Bayou Perdu, and specifically 16 year old Evangeline Riley and her family. This is a compelling narrative that gives the reader a widow into the typical life of a family in a small Louisiana town who are dependent on the water to make a living and ironically are impacted by the deluge of water that Hurricane Katrina delivered.
O’Sullivan does a good job of painting a vivid picture of Louisiana, both its beautiful landscapes and its equally provocative and unique culture. This is not simply a book about surviving a disaster, but about the complex relationships in families. It’s about tradition and expectations, duty and finding your own path. Evangeline’s bold refusal to follow norms and not be the beauty queen or even a “girly girl” makes us love her more. Interestingly though, O’Sullivan manages to draw parallels and shows us that we have more in common than we think and not to base friendships off of just what you have in common, but by the differences that help you grow.
Between Two Skies is a story you will not want to put down. It is transportive and well written. It is hard to believe this is a debut novel. O’Sullivan tells the story seamlessly and draws us in to the inner workings the Riley family. We desperately want to know what will happen to Evangeline and her colorful family. We are rooting for them and want them to heal. “…when I look into my future, it’s not here. It’s in the place where I know myself: out there in that limitless place between two skies.”

Review by Stephanie Garahana, Hunter High School Media Center
Rating: ★★★★✩ (4 stars)
Interest Level: High School

Between Two Skies
Written by Joanne O’Sullivan
Candlewick Press
272 pages
Release Date: April 25, 2017
A review copy was provided by the publisher.

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