Recent Posts

The Wide Starlight



[A quick note: This was an intriguing title when I read the synopsis, but it was the cover that captured me. I love Northern Lights and the colors were just gorgeous. I went out on a limb and requested it from Penguin Teen. Itโ€™s slightly outside my usual reading but I really enjoyed it. Itโ€™s fun to branch out every so often.]


โ€œ๐™„๐™ฉโ€™๐™จ ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™ง๐™ช๐™š. ๐™‰๐™ค๐™—๐™ค๐™™๐™ฎโ€™๐™จ ๐™—๐™š๐™ฉ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ง ๐™ค๐™›๐™› ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฉ๐™๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ž๐™ง ๐™ข๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง. ๐™ˆ๐™ฎ ๐™ฃ๐™š๐™š๐™™ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™๐™š๐™ง ๐™œ๐™ค๐™š๐™จ ๐™—๐™š๐™ฎ๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฎ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™„๐™˜๐™–๐™ฃ ๐™ง๐™–๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ค๐™ฃ๐™–๐™ก๐™ž๐™ฏ๐™š: ๐™ž๐™ฉโ€™๐™จ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™˜๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š, ๐™ž๐™ฉโ€™๐™จ ๐™ฅ๐™ง๐™ž๐™ข๐™–๐™ก, ๐™ž๐™ฉโ€™๐™จ ๐™š๐™ก๐™š๐™ข๐™š๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ก. ๐™„โ€™๐™ข ๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™จ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™จ๐™๐™šโ€™๐™จ ๐™ข๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™š ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™จ๐™ค๐™ข๐™š๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™—๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ช๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™œ๐™š๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ก๐™ž๐™›๐™š๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ข๐™š. ๐™‰๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™ž๐™ฉโ€™๐™จ ๐™ง๐™ž๐™ฅ๐™ฅ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ช๐™จ ๐™–๐™ฅ๐™–๐™ง๐™ฉ.โ€โ€”Nicole Lesperance

Dripping with Norwegian folklore, this magical novel follows Eli as she struggles with the loss of her mother. Ten years later, she tries to remember what happened that fateful night on the frozen fjords in Norway. Her mother whistled at the Northern Lights and vanished. Now Eli lives in Cape Cod with her dad. When the Northern Lights become visible over the Cape for just one night, Eli canโ€™t resist the possibility of seeing her mother just one more time.

This story is beautifully written, its pages filled with magical realism and folklore. Set upon the backdrop of frozen glaciers and stunning northern lights, it speaks of loss and acceptance. The prose is poetic and elegant. And each of the stories woven into the pages are lovely. Its a quick read that was difficult to put down. While it wasnโ€™t the type of book I generally seek out, I immensely enjoyed it. There was just enough magic and suspense to keep my attention.

I loved the deep mother-daughter bond between Eli and her mother. It was heart-wrenching at times to read about Eliโ€™s struggle with abandonment and some of her childhood experiences. I loved the way magic was woven into the events of the story. Just enough to be ambiguous, but clearly there.


โ€œ๐™๐™๐™š๐™ง๐™šโ€™๐™จ ๐™ฃ๐™ค ๐™ฌ๐™ค๐™ง๐™™ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง ๐™๐™ค๐™ฌ ๐™„ ๐™›๐™š๐™š๐™ก. ๐™„ ๐™ข๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ ๐™จ๐™˜๐™ง๐™š๐™–๐™ข ๐™ข๐™ฎ ๐™ก๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™œ๐™จ ๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™ค๐™› ๐™ข๐™ฎ ๐™—๐™ค๐™™๐™ฎ ๐™ค๐™ง ๐™„ ๐™ข๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ ๐™›๐™ก๐™ฎ ๐™ช๐™ฅ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™˜๐™ก๐™ค๐™ช๐™™๐™จ ๐™ค๐™ง ๐™„ ๐™ข๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ ๐™›๐™ก๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™ข๐™ฎ๐™จ๐™š๐™ก๐™› ๐™ค๐™›๐™› ๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™จ ๐™ข๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™–๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™ง๐™ค๐™ก๐™ก ๐™™๐™ค๐™ฌ๐™ฃ ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™›๐™Ÿ๐™ค๐™ง๐™™. ๐™Š๐™ง ๐™„ ๐™ข๐™ž๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ ๐™˜๐™ช๐™ง๐™ก ๐™ช๐™ฅ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™๐™˜๐™ง๐™ฎ ๐™›๐™ค๐™ง๐™š๐™ซ๐™š๐™ง ๐™–๐™—๐™ค๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™ข๐™ฎ ๐™ข๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ง, ๐™ฌ๐™๐™ค ๐™ก๐™š๐™›๐™ฉ ๐™ข๐™š ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™œ ๐™—๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™– ๐™˜๐™–๐™ง๐™™๐™—๐™ค๐™–๐™ง๐™™ ๐™—๐™ค๐™ค๐™  ๐™ค๐™› ๐™จ๐™˜๐™ง๐™–๐™ฅ๐™จ ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™™ ๐™– ๐™ฃ๐™ค๐™ฉ๐™š๐™™๐™š๐™ก๐™ž๐™ซ๐™š๐™ง๐™š๐™™ ๐™—๐™ฎ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™™.โ€

This is first and foremost a story about loss, about healing, about the lengths a daughter will go to find answers and closure. It was emotional at times, and touched on mental health issues too, which were generally in the background. But in short, it was simply a beautiful story.


What I enjoyed most was the folklore and setting. There were some lovely Norwegian stories depicted and woven into the lives of the main characters. I loved the parallels, and the way magic made certain tales come to life. Magic was always there, hiding in the seams of the world. Eliโ€™s mother knew exactly how to tug on these seams and bring the magic to life. Her true love was in books and stories, but her ability meant she was often making the stories come to life, and these stories were her undoing. So Eliโ€™s mother even tried to abandon them.


โ€œ๐™Ž๐™๐™š ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™ฃ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™™ ๐™๐™š๐™ง ๐™™๐™–๐™ช๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ง ๐™ฉ๐™ค ๐™›๐™ž๐™ก๐™ก ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™ซ๐™ค๐™ž๐™™ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™–๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ž๐™š๐™จ ๐™๐™–๐™™ ๐™ก๐™š๐™›๐™ฉ, ๐™—๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š๐™ฎ ๐™ฌ๐™š๐™ง๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™ฌ๐™ค ๐™จ๐™š๐™ฅ๐™–๐™ง๐™–๐™ฉ๐™š๐™š๐™ข๐™ฅ๐™ฉ๐™ž๐™ฃ๐™š๐™จ๐™จ๐™š๐™จ. ๐™ƒ๐™š๐™ง ๐™™๐™–๐™ช๐™œ๐™๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ง ๐™ฌ๐™–๐™จ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™จ๐™ช๐™ฃ ๐™ž๐™ฃ ๐™๐™š๐™ง ๐™จ๐™ค๐™ก๐™–๐™ง ๐™จ๐™ฎ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™š๐™ข, ๐™—๐™ช๐™ฉ ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™จ๐™ฉ๐™ค๐™ง๐™ž๐™š๐™จ ๐™ฌ๐™š๐™ง๐™š ๐™ฉ๐™๐™š ๐™œ๐™–๐™ก๐™–๐™ญ๐™ฎ.โ€

The style of writing was unique. It jumped between past and present. From chapter to chapter we get glimpses into Eliโ€™s present, and then Eliโ€™s past based on the book or diary she wrote for herself at a young age to remember everything that had happened as a child. I liked this style, and it fit well.

Overall, this was a gorgeous story. It wasnโ€™t in line with my tastes, yet, I still devoured it in two days. I think for people who like magical realism and connect with stories of loss, it will be ideal. MY RATING: 4/5โญ๏ธ


A big thank you to Penguin Teen for the eARC copy in exchange for my honest review.

  • Black YouTube Icon

ยฉ2021 by Author Melissa Mitchell