cover image The Stars We Share

The Stars We Share

Rafe Posey. Pamela Dorman, $26 (400p) ISBN 978-1-984879-62-2

Posey impresses in his moving debut, a sprawling account of the evolving relationship between two people who first met as children. After eight-year-old Alec Oswin’s parents die in 1927, his uncle takes him from India, where Alec was born, to start a new life in an English village. There, he meets June Attwell, who befriends him. They fall in love at 18, but WWII interferes. Alec becomes a fighter pilot with the RAF and is shot down, becoming a German POW, while June lends her intellect to the war effort as a Bletchley Park code breaker. When they finally reunite in 1946, Alec worries he’s been so transformed by his experiences that he’s no longer deserving of June. The prose sometimes strains a bit (“the letter is too short, a sparrow when he would have liked to send a goshawk”), but overall, Posey displays gifts for crafting realistic dialogue and bringing people and places to life. Though this isn’t at the rarefied level of All the Light We Cannot See, fans of that book are likely to be engrossed. Agent: Danielle Bukowski, Sterling Lord Literistic. (May)