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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

When Cal finally gets a chance with Kate, the girl he's loved since grade school, their easy friendship quickly blossoms into a meaningful romance. Spirited and independent, Kate keeps a guarded heart due to a painful past, and Cal wants nothing more than to gain her trust. But World War II soon cuts their time far too short, and Cal prepares to part from her - possibly for good. After he's gone, …

By the Stars

by Lindsay B. Ferguson

Overall Book Review:

More than a love story, more than someone’s personal account of World War II, and more than a historical novel, By the Stars is a beautifully written novel that reads almost like a memoir which invokes in the reader feelings of love, loyalty, faith, and hope. Author Lindsay Ferguson pulls the reader back in time to the World War II Era with a compelling retelling of events based on real life people, namely Cal and his soulmate, Kate. The voices of these two characters make them come to life, drawing the reader into their love story. This love story, however, is a journey that sees them separated by war, leaving them to rely on hope and faith that one day they will be reunited. It is this journey that will have one reading quickly to the end to find out if it leads to their happily ever after.

While the love story between the two characters is beautiful and will leave the reader with a longing to hold dear those they love, it is the added displays of hope and faith that will leave one with the feeling of gratitude and a longing for the good. As a reader, one will be compelled to cheer for Cal, as he faces the atrocities of war, hoping that he will be able to return to the simpler life he left behind and to the love of his life. One will also feel for Kate and want her to know that she deserves his love and that she can be happy with it. Both characters are believable and likeable, probably because of the fact that they are based on real people–which adds to the enjoyment.

By the Stars is a novel that will transport the reader back in time, leaving one touched with the love, faith, and hope of Cal and Kate that they both relied on to pull them through all that they had to endure. If, as a reader, you are looking for a book that will draw you in and stick with you long after you’ve put the book down, this is surely a novel you will want to pick up. You just might come away believing in true love again–as well as the power of promises made, hope for the future, and faith in the fact that all will work out as it should. By the Stars is a lovely reminder of all of these things, and Lindsay Ferguson does a wonderful job bringing this story based on true events to life.

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by the Author

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language:  1 religious exclamation; 2 mild obscenities. 

Violence/Gore:  (Note: All events that fall under this category are as a result of war.) One account of the aftermath of a bombing which includes a brief description of a character seeing the dismembered legs of someone he knew and seeing other dead soldiers (1 page); two paragraphs describing the groans and cries of men injured or dying throughout the night after an attack and the character not being able to do anything about it; soldiers shot at by the enemy as they run for safety; description of enemy throwing grenades into foxholes, fatally injuring those hiding there; group of soldiers fired upon, killing the 5 soldiers that were sent ahead as scouts with mention of them being found lying on the ground dead; mention of how the dead bodies of the enemy were lying around and beginning to decay and smell; description of how wild boars had dug up the buried bodies and started to eat them; mention of a newspaper article that describes the atrocities of what the Nazis had done to the Jewish people (not detailed); description of group of soldiers being shot at by the enemy; soldier talks about wanting to blow up the enemy; soldiers shoot at and kill in cold blood a few of the enemy who have come to surrender; character severely injured by a bomb with brief description of injuries; brief description of man trying to dig the shrapnel out of a wound; brief description of doctor re-breaking a character’s arm without pain relief of any kind. 

Sex/Nudity:  19 accounts of hand holding; 13 accounts of kissing; 12 accounts of hugging; 2 accounts of caressing of face–all of these mentioned so far were mentioned in passing and not dwelt upon; one scene is a description of multiple kisses and hair/face caressing that goes on for 3 paragraphs; discussion between 2 characters about waiting until they are married to be intimate. (All incidences in this category are between 2 unmarried people.)

Mature Subject Matter:

Divorce, death, war.

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Mention of Japanese soldiers getting drunk on Sake.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

I remember as a young girl sneaking out of my bedroom to read by the hall light my parents left on, just so I could finish an exciting book. I’ve always loved books and reading is somewhat of a passion for me–something I’m passing on to my kids. I have four children and I have a hard time making them turn out the light when they say, “But I just got to the good part”.