Paisley K's Reviews > We Walked the Sky

We Walked the Sky by Lisa Fiedler
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it was amazing




Sixteen-year-old Catherine Hastings despises her home life. The year is 1965– because of this, there’s no one Catherine can turn to when her socialite father secretly abuses herself and her sickly mother. One day, a carnival rolls into town; following her mother’s last words, Catherine flees the proper, painful world of her father and takes on the unknown head-first. Going by the alias Victoria Davis, she is quickly swept up in the VanDrexel Family Circus– a place of dazzling costumes, exotic animals and talented performers. As she learns to walk on a tightrope, she also discovers not only the skill, but also the love and heartbreak that it takes to be a part of such a unique family.
Fifty years later, Calliope “Callie” VanDrexel adores growing up in the circus. She’s billed as one of the most gifted tightrope walkers in the world– an impressive feat for a fifteen-year-old. When she learns that her grandmother Victoria has died, however, Callie’s dreams are shattered. Callie’s world turns upside down as her mother forces her to move to suburban Florida, replacing magic and travel with monotony and public high school. At first, Callie is determined to run back to the VanDrexel circus; after all, the only time she feels free is when she’s sixty feet in the air. She has no intentions of staying in Florida, until she discovers a mysterious box filled with Victoria’s belongings. Thanks to its contents, Callie starts to find reasons to put down some roots.
From the moment Victoria sees the fateful circus marching down her street, We Walked the Sky is magnetic in its telling. The coming-of-age stories of grandmother and granddaughter are told in parallel to one another, seamlessly weaving wisdom and emotions across half a century of family. Victoria and Callie are both stellar protagonists; each girl grows significantly in both empathy and maturity, but each retains her quiet confidence along the way.
Even more spellbinding are the settings, and the characters that come along with them. Fiedler adds a sense of whimsical realism to not only the VanDrexel circus, but also animal sanctuaries, department stores lost to time and even a run-down school. The locations are made charming by the supporting characters that accompany them– after all, what’s a lion without his dashing tamer, or a pizza place without its plucky employee? Enchanting and true, We Walked the Sky is a perfect summer read filled with compassion and sparkle.

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Reading Progress

June 9, 2019 – Started Reading
June 9, 2019 – Shelved
June 9, 2019 – Finished Reading

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