Three generations of women, a circus, and an animal sanctuary all make up the extremely well-written book We Walked the Sky by Lisa Fielder. Throughout the book, the characters have to learn to sometimes trust the net and to sometimes be a solo act.
The story begins in Massachusetts in 1965 when the circus comes, and a 16-year-old girl has the chance to escape from her abusive father. At the circus she reinvents herself, she begins to call herself Victoria, and she becomes an incredible tightrope walker. 50 years later Callie, a 16-year-old tightrope star, and her mother Quinn leave the circus when Callie’s grandmother, Victoria, passes away. Quinn and Callie end up living in Florida where Quinn works at an animal sanctuary. While there Callie has to put her once-booming career on pause. For Callie, this move is incredibly difficult and makes her feel powerless. During the book, the characters are developed out in ways that one couldn’t even imagine, and soon one is consumed by the story.
The book is told from two different perspectives, both adding to the story in ways that one perspective could never do. The first perspective is from Victoria in first-person and present-tense and shows how courageous, resilient, and hardworking Victoria was. The second perspective is given by Callie in third-person past-tense. For Callie past-tense is the perfect way to show all of her feelings because she reflects rather than merely stating what was going on. Without these perspectives, the book would have lost so much of its meaning and may have felt like a pointless read.
This book is one that says so much, about so many of our relationships and our day to day lives. The characters are masterfully developed, and the authors choice of two perspectives greatly adds to the story. Although, at points, it felt as though the two perspectives had nothing to do with each other, and therefore snapped us out of the story. Also, while Victoria had an intense, suspenseful story Callie’s seemed to lag behind. Due to content through this book isn’t suitable for kids under the age of 12. However, all in all, the book was a good read with meaningful messages and a well thought out story.