Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Under the Same Sky by Genevieve Graham

  • Title: Under the Same Sky
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Historical Romance/Fantasy
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade; 1 edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425245233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425245231
  • Notes: Contains some violence toward women.

Soulmates--some people go their whole lives without finding that special someone. Others are more fortunate...

'He has always been there....When I was little, I thought of him as just another child. One with a slow smile and gentle thoughts that soothed me, as if he held my hand. When he didn't fade with my childhood years, I began to wonder if he were a spirit, communicating through my dreams. In my heart I knew he was more...'

Maggie Johnson and Andrew MacDonnell have known each other their whole lives yet have never actually met. They interact within their dreams in a silent communication which needs no words. They knew each other like they knew themselves--two halves of a whole, but had no clue who or where the other lived. Through the years they've given each other comfort and strength through their bond. In the midst of tragedy and war, the magical bond between the two will grow and they will realize no other will do. When at last they are able to speak with each other through their dreams, Andrew vows, "I will find ye."

This is a romance which attempts to weave some of the harshness and history of the time into its story. Maggie and Andrew live in a time when life wasn't easy. In Scotland, where Andrew is from, the country is in the midst of the Jacobite uprising. Maggie lives in the yet untamed area of South Carolina where there are issues with the Cherokee and woman aren't always safe if they aren't under the protection of a man.

Maggie is strong, smart, and the eldest of 3 sisters. When the story begins, she lives with her family. When she turns 17 things take a turn for the worse as their father dies.

Andrew lives with his family in Scotland. When the call for war sounds he, his father, and his brothers hear it. Not everyone will come out of the fighting alive. He will travel around the world to find her.

I liked how Graham bonded the two main characters through magic. At times they could lend each other strength and stamina through their bond. On occasion, they could help each other by predict something that is or will happen which effects the other. When Maggie meets the Cherokee she learns more about her gift. The powers that she and Andrew share are similar to those of the tribe's Seer, Waw-Lai. I enjoyed the interaction Maggie had with the tribe and how Graham incorporated animal totems into the story to represent some of the characters. Andrew had a wolf totem whereas Maggie had a raven.

The trials, tribulations, and drama in the story made for a great read. Although I normally don't care for violence in a novel Graham expertly incorporated it for a reason which added depth to the story. It also left my emotions flaring which bonded me more to Maggie. Plus, when Andrew and Maggie finally came together his handling of her was swoon worthy.

The song dancing through my head as I read was 'Somewhere Out There' from the movie 'Fievel':
"Somewhere out there if love can see us through
Then we'll be together somewhere out there
Out where dreams come true

And even though I know how very far apart we are
It helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star

And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby
It helps to think we're sleeping underneath the same big sky"

Could there be a more appropriate song?

Overall, I gave this one 4 1/2 out 5 roses. On the Lisarenee Romance Rating Scale, this one rates a BLUSH - at the beginning stages of romance where something is just starting to be stirred. This romance didn't get all hot and heavy like some, but I liked the way Graham handled it. As I said before it was swoon worthy none the less. I felt this was a great debut for author Genevieve Graham and look forward to reading more of her books in the future.

Notes to keep you in the know:
I found a wonderful list of Animal Totem and their meanings at which had the following information on some of the animal totems used in the story:
Wolf - Loyalty, perseverance, success, intuition, and spirit
Raven - Introspection, courage, self-knowledge, magic
Hawk - Messenger, intuition, victory, healing, nobility, recollection, cleansing, visionary power, and guardianship.
Coyote - Trickster, intelligence, stealth, wisdom and folly, guile and innocence

Also, if you're interested in finding out more information on the Cherokee in South Carolina I found this wonderful website:

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