A lost child, the family who try to protect him and the secret that refuses to stay hidden . . .
Molly and Gene Myers were happy, until tragedy blighted their hopes of children. During the years of darkness and despair, they each put their marriage in jeopardy, but now they are starting to rebuild their fragile bond.
This is the year of Woodstock and the moon landings; war is raging in Vietnam and the superpowers are threatening each other with annihilation.
Then the Meteor crashes into Amber Grove, devastating the small New England town – and changing their lives for ever. Molly, a nurse, caught up in the thick of the disaster, is given care of a desperately ill patient rescued from the wreckage: a sick boy with a remarkable appearance, an orphan who needs a mother.
And soon the whole world will be looking for him.
Cory’s arrival has changed everything. And the Myers will do anything to keep him safe.
A remarkable story of warmth, tenacity and generosity of spirit, set against the backdrop of a fast-changing, terrifying decade.
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I thought we agreed, no secrets. When I screwed up, I told you. I don’t know what the deal is, but it’s eating you up. You’ve got to decide, because I can’t live with someone who doesn’t trust me.
That hieroglyph meant, Love you, Gene.
Our Child of the Stars is very beautifully written. I just love the tone and direction the narration takes with every part of the story. I found myself adoring something I don’t typically pay attention to: the actual words on the page.
The tale is ultimately a mother looking out for her child. The book starts with a couple, Molly and Gene Myers. Molly is a nurse, Gene a librarian. They love each other, and they try to have a kid. But Molly miscarries late in the pregnancy. This completely devastates Molly and she falls into herself, and alcohol, which nearly destroys their marriage. But in the end they prevail and come together again. That’s the start of the book.
And then a meteor crashes just outside their town, and it changes their lives forever. As a nurse, Molly has to go into work to help the injured. It is an emergency, all hands on deck situation. And she ends up spending long hours there. And what she finds at the hospital both challenges her worldview and gives her a future. She learns that it wasn’t just a meteor, there was a ship, too. With two occupants: a mother and a son. Both are badly wounded, and the mother soon dies, but not before getting a promise (through a translator box) for the doctors to help her child.
And they do, and Molly is one of the few trusted with the secret. Which includes keeping the young boy a secret from the US government. Molly falls in love with this injured child. And soon she decides that he is going to be hers, and she is going to be his second mom. And Molly convinces her husband to go along with it.
The young boy, which she names Cory because they cannot pronounce his real name, doesn’t look anything like a human. He doesn’t know English, though he quickly learns. He isn’t accustomed to earth and is at high risk of infection and being unable to even eat our food. The Meyers will have to keep him hidden, always, from everyone. But they love him and want to protect him. And it’s adorable.
Yet this isn’t all fun and games. The government finds out he exists. They want him. And they aren’t particularly good or even pleasant people in charge. The family has to run, they have to lie, they have to pretend. They have to keep their secret, or else. And young Cory is terrified of the soldiers – the aliens don’t really have violence. It is a constant battle between living and being safe.
And Cory is so inquisitive, too. At a guess he is around 8 years old, if he were a human boy. And Cory wants to know everything. He wants to experience everything. And he’s incredibly lonely. He isn’t used to it, and he doesn’t want to be alone. He wants others of his own age around him. And that hurts. Both him and me.
I really loved reading Our Child of the Stars. It was cute and wholesome when it focuses on the family. It made me feel like I was part of a family. It put me on the edge of my seat and made me worry when shit hit the fan. This isn’t the Earth as we know it. It is an alternative earth, taking place during the Vietnam War, when tensions are already high. And there are changes made to the timeline, and further changes made for when the alien ship crash landed.
And this is actually one of the few stories I have ever read that deals with such real, hard topics such as miscarriage and adoption in science fiction/fantasy. Which is something I really respect. Our Child of the Stars hits a lot of the things I’m annoyed don’t exist more in series I read, including children. And sometimes the road to that goal is paved with tragedy, and sometimes your wish is granted where you least expect it to.
ARC received from Jo Fletcher Books on Netgalley. This did not affect my review.