Under a Painted Sky
By Stacey Lee
Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail.
This beautifully written debut is an exciting adventure and heart-wrenching survival tale. But above all else, it’s a story about perseverance and trust that will restore your faith in the power of friendship.
I had the privilege of meeting Stacey Lee at the cutest little bookstore, Kepler’s book. She arranged an amazing book signing for Stephanie Garber’s Legendary. I got Stacey Lee’s book The Secret to a Heart Note while I was at this event and I loved it so much that I needed to read more. My friend, Jessica, got Under a Painted Sky and was kind enough to let me borrow it.
I have been reading a lot of cliffhanger series that I’m now stuck waiting on the next book release and I needed a good stand alone. Lee’s Under a Painted Sky did not disappoint. It may have helped that the main character shared the same name as my daughter.
Very quickly into the book it is clear that Samantha does not see eye to eye with her father who has raised his daughter after losing his beloved wife during the birth of Samantha. One day she storms away after a fight and while out she learns there is a fire…in the direction of the shop and house she lives at with her father. In complete shock she approaches the place that once was a great shop and is now a smoldering pile of ashes. Frantically search for her father she soon discovers he was killed in the fire. Overcome with grief and shock she encounters a good-looking stranger, but the meeting is brief and quickly forgotten about…for now.
Samantha has no idea what to do or where to go now until she sees the manager of the builder who offers to put her up in his hotel until other arrangements can be made. With no other options Samantha heads to the hotel to get herself a room. While here she meets a young black slave, Annamae, who helps her to her room. Samantha finally gets enough clarity to get into the bath to start washing away the smoke and ash and grime from her day. Ty Yorkshires enters the room while Samantha is still just in a robe to talk about her options now. It is suddenly made clear that he wishes Samantha to live at the hotel in exchange for her services to his male customers. He starts to advance in hopes of utilizing Samantha first and she decided to fight back and in this fight Ty trips and hits his head and falls down dead. Annamae walks in and discovers a shocked Samantha and a dead manager on the floor. Annamae takes charge and soon her and Samantha are disguised as boys on their way to California in search of gold, hiding among all the other gold rushers.
This book was so well written and left me eager to pick the book up and start reading again each moment I had. I may have even put off some laundry to get some extra reading time in. Watching Samantha grow into the amazing strong women that her father raised her to be was an incredible journey. Lee has such a wonderful writing style and way with words. It was easy to immerse myself into the trial. My heart raced when Sammy and Andy and the boys came across the Broken Hand Gang. Andy and Sammy blossomed into full on sisters as they encountered dangers, sickness, excitement, and love.
I highly recommend this read. A little predictable at times, but so sweet and full of so much emotion. My heart was broken, my mind was shocked, and my heart was healed. If you like books that remind you of the strength of women and the sweetness that life can bring even after hardships then I suggesting reading this book.
make sure to go find my Instagram so you can enter my current giveaway.
View this post on Instagram
*************GIVEAWAY********** I hit 150 during September so for the month of October I will be doing some giveaways to thank you all for supporting my new journey. I have some fun things planned. Lots of special signed items from a few different authors. Week 4 of my giveaway month is here! *1 signed copy of the Lens of God by @carriedugovic *signed copies of book 1 & 2 of Judgement of the Flaming Sword by @ec_novels *Sticker swag from Toxic by @lydiakang *”BOOKS” decorative sign *Blanca and Roja earrings from @uppercasebox (I can’t wear any earrings so my loss is your gain!) *Grim Lovelies by @meganshepherdauthor nail polish (somehow I ended up with 2 bottles so I’m giving one away!) *Comfy Christmas socks and some cute pencils *My daughter decided she wanted to contribute to my giveaway and she donated a mini monkey fingerling to giveaway. 😍 ********************************************** To enter you must follow all the rules. I will check to make sure you did everything! *Follow me (@bookclubbestiedi) on instagram *tag 3 friends who would enjoy this giveaway *leave a comment telling me what you are currently reading ***for an extra entry share this picture and tag me in it! (Leave a separate comment below when you do) ***bonus entry for sharing to your story!! (Leave another separate comment below when you do) Last day to enter is October 25. I will announce the winner on October 26 **US ONLY**