The Names of the Stars

Ann Tatlock. Iron Stream, $15.99 trade paper (304p) ISBN 978-1-56309-422-4
Tatlock (Once Beyond a Time) offers an entertaining, fanciful portrayal of a woman yearning for stardom. In 1918, 13-year-old Annalise Rycroft works the Midwestern vaudeville circuit with her mother and uncles. Annalise has a breathtaking singing voice, but she has hiccups whenever she is on stage. She is also haunted by a dream in which a baby disappears from her arms. Then, while she’s suffering from the Spanish flu, characters from her favorite book, A Christmas Carol, visit her and reveal the missing baby to be her brother, Henry, who was sent as an infant to an asylum after being deemed an “idiot”—an accusation her mother denies. After she recovers, Annalise’s hiccups recede and her star begins to rise; she puts all thoughts of Henry behind her. Then, in 1932, Annalise, now a successful singer, is visited by her long-estranged father, who seeks forgiveness and confirms the existence and abandonment of Henry. When an onstage disaster and a medical emergency lead Annalise to reevaluate her life, she is finally ready to make amends with God for the brother her family gave away. While faith elements are subtle, the inventive plotting and dreamlike sequences contain moments of inspiration. Readers who enjoy Kristy Cambron’s inspirational mysteries should check this out. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/05/2020
Release date: 10/01/2020
Genre: Inspirational Fiction
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