“The Sky We Walk Upon” by Lissa Marie Niederer

Hannah MacKenzie wants to be loved.  Her mother is noncommunicative, her father distant, and the boy she loves doesn’t seem to return her feelings.  She’s far too busy trying to make sense of life to think about faith or God, but He’s pursuing her – in some most unusual ways.  Will Hannah gain the faith to see Him?

The Sky We Walk Upon is a story of love, loss, and faith.  It’s about a faith journey that doesn’t begin with a quest for God, a preacher, a Bible, or a church.  Instead, it begins with a search for love and a young woman who doesn’t even realize what she wants most.  It’s that very quest that drives the story through the good and the bad.

Hannah doesn’t always get it right – in fact, the opposite is quite true.  She makes many mistakes in her search for love, most of them common, yet ones our culture rarely discusses enough.  She is young and likeable, and her strong desire for love draws the reader in and makes it easy to connect with her. 

The men in her life are a bit more difficult.  Their actions are not always easy to understand – because I’m not a man?  because I couldn’t predict their responses? – but whatever the reason, their roles up the action, the drama, and keep the pages turning.  The setting does that, as well.  Maine is a wildly beautiful state, and the rough winter backdrop sets the perfect scene for The Sky.

The language of the story has a different feel from many modern works.  It’s smooth and well written, to be sure, but also written to be more distant than many.  You don’t know Hannah’s every move.  You’re not privy to her every thought or action or Tweet.  Instead, you get the whole picture.  This makes the book feel smarter than most modern stories.

I really enjoyed this story.  It tackles the hard questions of “Where is God”?” and “Why does God allow bad things to happen?”  Characters answer these questions both in specifically stated and implied fashions, making the book non-preachy but distinct.  I think The Sky We Walk Upon is a great story to give to someone who is searching, who has asked these questions, or who is in a difficult relationship, specifically as a young adult.

I can’t wait to see what Lissa Marie Niederer writes next.

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