UNDER THE SAME SKY Genevieve Graham
Berkley Sensation
ISBN-13: 978-0-425-24523-1
January 2012
ISBN-13: 978-0-425-25489-9
Reissued: July 2013

Historical Romance

Scotland and South Carolina Mid 1700's

Maggie was born in South Carolina and grew up with visions in her head of a young boy her age far away.  Maggie dare not tell anyone of her visions, as her own grandmother had been burned at the stake after being accused of being a witch.  But her mother knew of her dreams and listened when Maggie told of good times to plant crops.  Maggie's life changes when her father dies when she's seventeen, the dream of his death woke her up and she led her mother to where his horse and wagon fell over.  Then, shortly afterwards, men came and killed her mother and took her and her sisters, Adelaide and Ruth, and raped them until Ruth died and Adelaide can barely function.  Her vision far away saw what happened and helps her to kill one of the men after she escapes, and then the Cherokee Indians save them.  Half dead, it takes a long time for their bodies to heal; their minds take longer, especially Adelaide 's.  As Maggie starts a new life with the Cherokees, her visions follow her, and so does trouble.

Andrew McDonnell and his family live in Scotland , and he has lived with his visions of a girl as he grew up.  He kept his dreams to himself lest somebody think he was weird.  He enjoys his life with his mother and father and brothers, Dougal and Cairan, as he grows up, always practicing fighting and being a warrior.  When he's sixteen, there is a clan Gathering at Invergarry Castle , and he gets his first sight of a town and so many people.  At the age of nineteen, Andrew and his father and brothers go to war led by their uncle and chief, Iain MacDonnell.  As Jacobites, they have several battles until the Council decide to strike south at Culloden Moor .  The blood and awful fighting goes on for hours, and in his exhaustion he sees his vision helping him and giving him strength, but it isn't enough.  His heart breaks as he watches his father killed in front of him, and he never again sees Dougal and Cairan.  Injured and with nowhere to go, he slowly makes him way home, only to find his house burned and his mother dead at the front door.  Hatred fills his heart, and he decides to leave Scotland forever and follow his dream of joining with the girl of his vision.

Years and heartbreak happen to Maggie and Andrew as they grow up in each other's dreams.  Maggie and her sister must adjust to life among the Indians and try to find places for themselves as white women in an Indian culture.  Andrew handles his suffering and the death of his way of life and family by realizing Scotland holds nothing more for him and deciding to find the girl in his dreams.  They endure many trials as they gradually get closer to finally meeting each other.

The debut novel of Genevieve Graham encompasses the history of Scotland and America through about twenty years.  Maggie and Andrew watched each other grow up and were always there in times of trouble.  Andrew is crushed when his family is killed, as is Maggie, with only her sister Adelaide left.  But each one must accept what life has thrust at them and get through it the best way they can.  Told from each of their points of view, Maggie and Andrew live through devastation in their lives, but are always encouraged during the awful times by the help they get from each other.

Secondary characters in this epic novel are many and diverse.  Maggie loses her mother and sister Ruth, who continue to remain a part of her, and she has only Adelaide , who has a hard time forgetting what happened when they were taken from their home.  They make many Cherokee friends like Soquili, whom Maggie might have been interested in romantically were it not for her dream man.  Waw-Li is an old woman who knows Maggie has dreams and teaches her about them and says she is the raven, and knows there is a wolf in her life, referring to Andrew.  Through Waw-Li, Maggie somehow effortlessly learns the language and how to interpret her dreams.  Andrew also has a family who remains in his memory, and his friend Iain, who leaves Scotland with Andrew after he returned home from war and found his wife and children gone.  And a boy and girl who were left orphans are taken under Iain's wing, along with Janet, the daughter of a friend who wants to leave Scotland , also goes to America with them.  There is nothing left for her, and no men returning from war for her to make a life with.  Janet might have been the woman for Andrew, but he was already taken by the woman in his dreams.

UNDER THE SAME SKY explores the separate lives of two characters who grow up with a mental connection that eventually becomes part of their lives. The sweeping story of Maggie and Andrew highlights the history of the Colonies and Scotland and the way of life each one lives.  Andrew must come to terms with leaving his homeland, and Maggie has other dangerous adventures that she must struggle to rise above.  It's hard to describe the vast years and times this novel encompasses, and the many circumstances that come in each of their lives.  By necessity, this review barely touches everything that happens to them, but it will be well worth your time to become a part of Maggie and Andrew's story and all its twists and turns. Coming in May 2012 is a connected story, SOUND OF THE HEART, which features one of the minor characters from this tale as the hero.  

Carolyn Crisher