Hi guys! Today I’m going to do a review of Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee. It’s one of my current favorite books and I’ve read it at least three times.
Samantha has always had it hard – it wasn’t easy being Chinese Missouri in 1849, but with her dad, it was bearable. After her dad dies in a tragic fire, her dreams of moving back to her home town of New York City and becoming a musician are crushed, and her only focus is making it out alive.
On her way out of the city, she meets a runaway slave named Annamae, and together they become Andy and Sam, a couple of boys headed for California gold. Their friendship grows along the journey, but things change when they encounter a group of cowboys.
They join together, but they soon realize that it’s not easy to hide in the frontier.
I loved Samantha and Annamae’s friendship. They were bound together by their loss of family members, and together they help each other with their loss. I also enjoyed hearing Annamae’s fond memories of the siblings she was ripped away from, and her determination to get them back.
The cowboys were enjoyable, and they brought a more lighthearted angle to the story. I loved them all. I want to say West was my favorite, because he’s the most relatable for me, but I have a special place in my heart for Cay and Pedro too.
There was and wasn’t that much going on with the plot at the same time. There were stretches where it was just them traveling, but every so often something would happen with cattle, encounters with others, or a multitude of things. I liked the leisurely pace of it all, where things were happening but not happening at all.
I’m going to have to give this one five stars, because I fell in love with it when I first listened to the audiobook several years ago, and again when I read it in print. Stacey Lee has to be one of my current favorite authors, and every book of hers that I’ve read so far I’ve enjoyed, partially because of my love for historical fiction.
Have you read any of Stacey Lee’s books? If so, which one is your favorite? Let me know in the comments!