Under Big-Hearted Skies: A Young Man’s Memoir of Adventure, Wilderness, & Love
Lucky Dollar Media (2020)
Reviewed by Jill Rey for Reader Views (09/2020)
Memoirs are distinct literary works in that they are challenged with creating a storyline of noteworthy life events that draw readers in through their uniqueness, no story of which is more unique than Tom Stewart’s. Tom is a Canadian, and while he may seem driftless at times as he goes from working as a fishing guide, to a college dropout, to a float plane pilot and backwoods hunting guide, his short life stories combine for an outstanding memoir that sets it apart from the pack.
“Under Big-Hearted Skies” is a story of a Canadian adventurer, author Tom Stewart. Throughout his stories he showcases vivid landscapes and even more intriguing characters met during his various travels and escapades. Written as a collection of short stories, this memoir delivers a punch. Stewart expertly navigates the story of his life via the scenery and excitement encountered rather than the passage of time, making for a more enjoyable and engaging read.
While the stories often take place in the cold Canadian wilderness, oil rig or even on a float plane in a near disastrous crash, the grammar, dialogue, and sidebar stories within seamlessly align with the settings provided. However, as an American that prefers the comforts of the indoors, this did cause me to have several bouts of re-reading, but ultimately worked in favor of the book’s voice, tone, and background as it placed readers directly into the scene. The stories within are also written in a way that makes for great conversations with those more adventure savvy, such as my husband. We had a blast discussing and relishing in Stewart’s stories of Sea Lions stealing massive fishing trophies in heat of reeling them in on the expeditions he guided.
All in all, “Under Big-Hearted Skies” provides readers a short memoir, filled with stories full of action, adventure and crazy characters, all of which played a critical part in the author’s life. While this may, at first glance seem like a book for adventurous individuals, I assure you the content within will be enjoyed by all. Whether you prefer hiking, fishing, or hunting outdoors, or would rather watch it all on TV, the writing and stories of Tom’s life are enjoyable for even the most general of audiences. Spanning early childhood to present day adulthood no exciting milestone or adventure is left untouched.