The Stars At Oktober Bend by Glenda Millar
Published February 1, 2016
Paperback, 266 pages
MY GOODREADS RATING 4/5 STARS
(Thanks to Netgalley & Allen & Unwind, I received an eARC)
A powerful, captivating story about Alice, who is reaching out to express herself through her beautiful-broken words, and Manny who is running to escape his past. When they meet they find the tender beginnings of love and healing.
Alice is fifteen, with hair as red as fire and skin as pale as bone, but something inside her is broken. She has acquired brain injury, the result of an assault, and her words come out slow and slurred. But when she writes, heartwords fly from her pen. She writes poems to express the words she can’t say and leaves them in unexpected places around the town.
Manny was once a child soldier. He is sixteen and has lost all his family. He appears to be adapting to his new life in this country, where there is comfort and safety, but at night he runs, barefoot, to escape the memory of his past. When he first sees Alice, she is sitting on the rusty roof of her river-house, looking like a carving on an old-fashioned ship sailing through the stars.
I’ve been reading a lot of extremely moving books lately and this one has definitely been added to this list. At first I thought this one was going to be written in verse, but it wasn’t, though it was written in a way that flowed so lyrically it was hard to put down. It was very character driven and was hard not to fall in love with each and every one of them (the main ones anyways). I was a very beautifully written, moving story that immersed me from the beginning.
I feel like you get a real look into Alice, and how she feels about everything happening around her. She is very intelligent, and uses her poetry to express the things she has a hard time articulating. She radiates hope, even when having to deal with people not understanding her (speech wise and what’s inside).
If you are looking for a beautifully written and depicted story about tolerance and acceptance, give this one a go. Be prepared it is tough to get used to the writing style immediately, but is more than worth it to stick it out. This. Is a story that needs to be told and the author really did it stunningly.