Between Two Skies by Joanne O'Sullivan
"O’Sullivan’s first novel, an elegantly written coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of Hurricane Katrina, opens in the village of Bayou Perdu on the Gulf of Mexico on the eve of Evangeline Riley’s 16th birthday...O’Sullivan creates suspense on several fronts and gives Evangeline a lyrical and endearing voice."
"What separates Evangeline's story from the myriad others that have come and gone in the wake of one of the nation's worst natural disasters is O'Sullivan's deft lyricism...O'Sullivan's light touch and restraint will allow readers to follow Evangeline as she stands howling into the wind that howled into her."
—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Between Two Skies by debut author Joanne O'Sullivan is a delicate, captivating story; her descriptions of Katrina and its monstrous damage are vivid and heartwrenching...Resonating with emotion and daring to bring readers into the heart of the south at a time of great sorrow and great joy, Between Two Skies is a multifaceted look at the places we call home and what it means to return."
—Shelf Awareness for Readers (starred review)
Hurricane Katrina sets a teenage girl adrift. But a new life—and the promise of love—emerges in this rich, highly readable debut.
Bayou Perdu, a tiny fishing town way, way down in Louisiana, is home to sixteen-year-old Evangeline Riley. She has her best friends, Kendra and Danielle; her wise, beloved Mamere; and back-to-back titles in the under-sixteen fishing rodeo. But, dearest to her heart, she has the peace that only comes when she takes her skiff out to where there is nothing but sky and air and water and wings.
It's a small life, but it is Evangeline's. And then the storm comes, and everything changes.
Amid the chaos and pain and destruction comes Tru—a fellow refugee, a budding bluesman, a balm for Evangeline's aching heart.
Told in a strong, steady voice, with a keen sense of place and a vivid cast of characters, here is a novel that asks compelling questions about class and politics, exile and belonging, and the pain of being cast out of your home. But above all, this remarkable debut tells a gently woven love story, difficult to put down, impossible to forget.
Joanne O'Sullivan introduces fascinating people and places to readers through books, articles and blog posts. Her award-winning science, sustainabilty and travel books for kids include Migration Nation (Charlesbridge, 2015). She lives in Asheville with her family.