Available in stores + online July 7, 2012
A World of Wonder by Michael West for marthasvineyardpatch.com
If you haven’t heard about this amazing new book yet, it is my privilege to introduce you.As I held the book in my hands, I have to admit I was skeptical. Yes, it was beautifully made in every detail from the gorgeous cover, to the black-and-white graphics adorning each section, the graceful font and the highest-quality paper. A fable for young adults and grownups like The Alchemist or The Little Prince…?
My usual reading matter is hardboiled detective fiction. You know, guns and sexy dames, and all the gory, suspenseful rest of it.
Yet when I opened the cover and turned the first few pages, I came across this passage in the beginning of the book:
She stood in the waving green meadow and took it all in: the stalks of grass moving in the curved palm of the wind; the gentle hum of a wayward bee easing first away, then closer to touch her; the amber of the sun’s bright globe painting her face and arms; the taste of lavender in the air slipping past her lips and melting on her tongue. And she felt such joy that every part of her being filled up, and being filled, welled over as tears.
I will admit I was hooked right then and there. Such skillful writing and such grace of expression suggested to me that here was an author fully in command of her gifts and on the beat of a captivating story.
After reading the first few sections of Star Child, I posted the following on Facebook:
“I am reading a book called Star Child by Kay Goldstein and recently published by Jan Pogue's Vineyard Stories press. When I finish reading it I will review it on Patch MV. I don't want it to end. Star Child captured my heart and mind from its first pages with a wondrous fable told with exquisite language, with gentle restraint, with love in its voice. This book is a gift of such generosity I scarcely know where to begin to praise it or how to thank its author for sharing her vision or its publisher for bringing it to bookstores.”
Now, having finished the book, I am happy to share it with you.
Star Child is a novella written in twelve sections, each titled: Heaven, Earth, Sea, Seasons, Mountain, Awakening, Hope, Faith, Joy, Fire, Surrender, and Epilogue. The first section, Heaven, tells of how Terra (and Marius we soon find out) came to the blue planet. Earth is Terra’s story, Sea is Marius’ story (and where he and Terra first meet) and Seasons brings the story of the Old Couple, who took in Terra and nurtured her, to a close. Mountain is Terra’s journey to meet the Ancient Mother; Awakening is about Marius making a similar spiritual connection with The Baker.
All of us in life make compromises with the world in order to survive that may entail our giving up, or being less of, who we feel we truly are. Star Child is about each one of us, spiritual beings on a human path, as Kay Goldstein terms it, reconnecting with that lost essence of our inner selves. Terra and Marius struggle with this same spiritual journey, as both of them have left behind their native selves in order to survive on this blue planet. In the second half of Star Child, Terra and Marius seek to reconnect not only with themselves, but with each other.
This is a very skillfully written book with carefully planned structure and a progression of events and challenges to convey the spiritual journey of the inner self. The first half, which I have outlined above, sets up this unfolding of the return to the essence of self for both Terra and Marius. Throughout the story, their interaction with the supporting cast of characters -- The Old Couple, The Loon, The Dolphins, The Fishermen, Nicky, The Ancient Mother, The Baker – bring human challenges into focus as Terra and Marius come to terms with their lives. The second half of Star Child deepens the meaning of the story, as well as the reader’s feelings for these characters. Now that I have set the stage, I will leave the mystery of Star Child’s resolution to your own reading pleasure. I cannot tell you how right the ending feels to me, and I think you will share in that experience.
With sensual detail that is at the same time very spiritual in feeling, Kay Goldstein has created a world of wonder, familiar enough, but fabulous in its simple beauty. She invites the reader to enter this world and stay a while with Terra and Marius and become, like them, a Star Child.
It is such a fully-imagined place, yet so roomy and open-feeling that we can imagine ourselves being in it. We can wander around in it a while, creating our own details, re-creating our own stories and myths and memories, each one and all of us discovering our own ways to regain that lost essence of our inner selves, our Star Child within.
This just in from "The Inspirational Book Blogger" and Author of the Chakra Diaries, Becca Chopra:
Is Star Child a fantasy tale, a metaphor for the magic living inside us all, a wise lesson in how to accept and love ourselves and our unique gifts? I'd say it's all three. I was entranced by Terra and Marius, two mystical and mysterious children, who try to fit into the "real world" after crashing on earth, soul-seeds of a dying star. They meet briefly as young children, recognize their similarity, but then spend the rest of their tale searching for each other, and their true selves, which become hidden by trying to blend in with those around them. Is it safe to be different? That's a question many, especially youth, have to ask these days. Their beautiful story, wrapped in the beautiful cover of this hardcover keepsake, shows how letting your light, your gifts, shine brightly in the world is the way to happiness and peace.
Wise elders and nature spirits and animals guide the two Star Children on their path. The Ancient Mother, deemed a witch by townsfolk, advises Terra, "Finding ourselves is the only journey that matters." And later, "A human being who knows herself has great power. She can use that for the good of others. Always surrender to your heart, your guide, even if others don't understand."
If you want to bask, to bathe, in the beauty of Kay Goldstein's words, dive into this book with an open heart and mind. You will surface feeling that you were given the gift of unconditional love. Share it with young and old; it is a story for all ages
By Author David Michie (Buddhism for Busy People and 10 other books) on Goodreads.com
Read in August, 2012
What a delightful and magical read!
this is not a genre I know much about. But I was completely drawn into the magic of this story by Kay's beautiful writing, compelling story telling, and the intrigue of where she was taking the underlying allegory. I won't spoil your reading by saying more here, except to recommend this poignant, otherworldly tale about our constant search for wholeness, authenticity and love.
Star Child was selected as a "Summer Read" by the Martha's Vineyard Times.
NOVEL FOLLOWS STAR CHILDREN ON JOURNEY OF ACCEPTANCE
Read full feature here.
Star Child is Kay Goldstein’s first work of fiction.
Author Kay Goldstein was wondering the same thing a few years ago when she started writing the first pages of her newly released novel, Star Child, a process which caused her to delve into the depths of human experience.
The result is a delightful 81-page book, which tells the story of two celestial beings and their travels through human society. It’s a cyclical coming-of-age story that will appeal to adults, teenagers and preteens alike. The plot sustains the reader’s interest, and the characters’ weighty introspections convey a sense of comfort to the reader.
“I think a lot of teenage fantasy books are anxiety-producing, about vampires... and life or death situations,” Ms. Goldstein said. “This has a lot more to do with acceptance... to be comfortable with where things are and to be able to move on.”
Part of the challenge of marketing her book is communicating to buyers what kind of book they are buying. “I do have to help people understand,” Ms. Goldstein said. When she tells them it is similar to The Alchemist and The Little Prince, they understand better.
“It’s a book that’s going to find its way on its own,” she said. “I’m letting it show me what to do next.” She refers to the book as a fairytale, an allegory and a love story — it’s the type of book that crosses terminological boundaries effortlessly. The characters’ lack of demographic descriptors only contributes to their universality, and the ease with which the reader engages with their story.
Unlike her nonfiction writing endeavors, the evolution of which she felt she controlled, Star Child seemed to have a life of its own.
“There were times when someone would tell me a story or a dream, and I’d say, ‘oh, that’s where Marius was born, that’s where he came from.’ Pieces of my life and pieces of [the lives of] people I know were all woven into this book.”The book is especially comforting for young readers. “It’s really about self-acceptance and having compassion for yourself... It’s inspirational but it’s not religious. It’s spiritual but it doesn’t have a particular dogma.”
Reader comments (a sampling):
"It's amazing how we come across books that we need to read. "Star Child" was one of those books for me.
An endearing story about our journey here on Earth...the choices we make as well as the decisions imposed upon us from those who love us. For those who have lost their way, for those who know and think they know what this gift called life is all about. "Star Child" is a gentle reminder to be/become who we really are...
This is a book to cherish and a book to give as a gift...a story that stays with you..." Lisa McKay for Goodreads.com
"I enjoyed our chat on the radio it was good and fun. Today have finished your story about the Star Children. It was a good trip and will stay with me a long time. Thanks ." ~ Mark Wayne, host Old New England Radio WICH AM, New London
"I loved the book and gave a copy to one of my oldest and dearest friends for her birthday. I plan on reading it aloud to my advisees (6-8 graders) this fall; I think they'll enjoy it." ~Kathy C.
"...How lovely to read such a simple yet powerful story that brings be back home to myself. I felt a tear of joy trickle down my face as I closed Star Child. Terra and Marius showed me the way back to being in the moment and reminded me the importance of infusing mindfulness and equanimity in every experience.
I can't wait to share this book with my eight-year-old grandchildren... and I look forward to reading more stories from the heart of Kay Goldstein. Thank you for giving me such a treasure." ~ Suzanne B.