Kyland is a novel by Mia Sheridan. Rarely have I been this emotionally invested as I was when reading Kyland. I was thrilled when I discovered that this book takes place in Kentucky. I live in a different area of this state; however, I am very familiar with the small, poverty-stricken, coal-mining towns where Kyland takes place.
Both Kyland and Tenleigh are dirt poor and living in untenable family situations. These teenagers have nothing. Having no support, they fight to keep a roof over their heads and food in their stomachs. Both Kyland and Tenleigh dream of a way out of this nightmare of a life. A scholarship is offered for a full ride to the college of the student’s choice. Once strangers, then friends, then lovers, Kyland and Tenleigh are fighting for the same ticket out of an endless life of poverty and no options.
Oh! These characters! Mia Sheridan captured the quiet dignity and fierce stubbornness of the Appalachian people. Kyland and Tenleigh want to break the cycle of their lives by getting the scholarship and never looking back, not even for love. Kyland was proud but vulnerable with Tenleigh. Tenleigh battled her mother’s mental illness while trying to be the breadwinner, a good sister, and an excellent student. The bond Kyland and Tenleigh forge is stronger than the forces trying to tear them apart. What is the truest test of love? This book answers that question perfectly: sacrifice.
It was apparent the hard work and research the author did in every little detail, from the authentic dialogue to the description of the breathtaking scenery. The author captured the fierce pride and indomitable spirit these generational coal miners have. This powerful romance on page one ensnared me. This is a hauntingly beautiful, heart-achingly poignant story of struggle, love, and sacrifice. This is my favorite contemporary book I have read. I beg you to read this book! It tells the story of the overlooked, marginalized, and neglected in a way that’s both vulnerable and fierce. Mia Sheridan captured the heart of Appalachia and I’ll never forget this book!
Publication Date: May 2, 2023