Summary and book reviews of This Side Of The Sky by Elyse Singleton

This Side Of The Sky

by Elyse Singleton

This Side Of The Sky
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2002, 304 pages
    Paperback:
    Sep 2003, 304 pages

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Book Summary

In this lifelong story, Lilian and Myraleen struggle through dramatically changing times: From the stark realities of life in rural Mississippi, through the different sort of racism they find in workaday Philadelphia and France during World War II.

An epic and touching story of two best friends charting their uncertain way through segregation and war, to love.

In her funny, moving, and ambitious debut, Elyse Singleton introduces us to two inseparable and hard-minded idealists. Young Lilian endures the tribulations of Nadir, Mississippi, on the purity of her faith in people and her growing belief in herself. Her best friend, Myraleen, gets by on her sharp tongue and her unwillingness to give in-and perhaps because Lilian is always with her.

In this lifelong story, Lilian and Myraleen struggle through dramatically changing times: From the stark realities of life in rural Mississippi, through the different sort of racism they find in workaday Philadelphia and France during World War II. For these women, the road to maturity in the messy American century is long and ragged. Along the way, Myraleen falls for a Tuskeegee flier and Lilian for a German prisoner of war. And each time they reassert their oldest ideals, everything they believe in is tested again--most of all what love requires in such a world.

KELLNER Russia
1951

LONG IN SUFFERING, QUICK IN LOSING-SEVEN YEARS. EVERY day, another season of winter whisked by, just like that. Did she think he had been killed? Or did she assume he had married someone who looked more like him?

He knew that to her he had become a man of dead promises. Yet, he remembered her elegant mind, the deep blackness of her hair, the liquid brown of her eyes, and the way her pearl earrings drew his eyes to the curve of her neck.

He did not know whether he would live out the day. And he had only one reason to care. The single thing that redeemed the world was that somewhere, she lived. Even now, in this endless winter, he could feel the warmth of her hand.

LILIAN
Mississippi
1930

...a flight of unsung hearts...

AS A GIRL, I LOVED ANYTHING WITH WHEELS OR WINGS-including Pontiacs, trains, bread trucks and hummingbirds-because they all had the power to get out of Mississippi. This is what I wanted to do, and couldn't do on the authority ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Barnes & Noble Review from Discover Great New Writers

Award-winning journalist Elyse Singleton has penned a lyrical, sweeping tale that soars on powerful wings. From the Depression-burdened South to prewar Philadelphia and across an America devastated by a common hatred, This Side of the Sky is an epic made real through the eyes of two friends and the men they love.

Library Journal - David A. Berona

Although this book presents an informed glimpse of segregation before and during the war, the characters are never completely developed, and many events feel too contrived. All the facts are here but not enough of the feelings.

Reader Reviews

J Dicks

I just finished reading this novel and I enjoyed it very much. The characters seemed real and a lot of the history included in the novel was familiar because of stories I'd heard from family members raised in the south during the pre-WWII era. I ...   Read More

AJ

What a wonderful book! I am an avid reader, all genres, whatever I can get my hands on. This book was one of the best I have read. I love the style of writing, as well, as the characters; so developed were they, I still think of them and I have ...   Read More

Magdalena Gallegos

This Side of the Sky by Elyse Singleton is one of the best books I have ever read and I have been a reader all of my life. Her style of writing paints pictures in your mind while you are reading the story. You are there in the time and place where ...   Read More

angel parades

This is a story of two young black southern women determined to make life work for them. It is written in a fresh, intelligent, witty and honest voice, compelling and beautifully crafted. Singleton is a wonderful storyteller. I am waiting for more...   Read More

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