Our Child of the Stars, Stephen Cox – Book Review

Hello Humans! I’ve been so into my readalongs lately that it feels like a hot minute since I’ve written a book review! Having the chance to write a review for a book as cool as Our Child of the Stars is always a little bit daunting, I feel as if I’m going to miss something important or focus in on something that other people don’t really care about, but I’m going to do my best!

ourchildofthestars

Goodreads Summary:

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.

Find on Goodreads | Amazon (Affiliate)

Don’t do what I did and let yourself be fooled by the (beautiful) cover, this book tackles some very troubling themes that don’t necessarily gel with that lovely hand-drawn cover. Content warning for miscarriage, depression, and suicidal thoughts. Reader discretion advised.

This book had something of a feel of Bridge of Clay about it, not that the two share much in theme, but it does have that sense of telling a story that has already ended – does that make any sense? There’s a feeling of history to the words, not just because this book is set in the sixties. It’s also hugely character driven, with much of the book devoted to delving deep into the inner workings of various character’s minds.

I will say, a good portion of the emotional drive in this book comes from the theme of parenthood and what it means to be a parent and to care for your child no matter what. As someone who has never been mother to more than some very dim goldfish and who (if you’ve been on my twitter lately you’ll have seen this) has no desire to bring anything into the world other than sarcasm, I am perfectly willing to admit that some of this won’t have quite hit home for me in the same way as it might do someone who has actually been in those kinds of situations. That being said, I did shed a tear or two at various points through this story, and if my hardened heart can break a little for these characters I have no doubt that it’ll be amazing for other readers.

I enjoyed the historical setting of this book, so often it just feels as though an author is getting around the ‘why wouldn’t you just use your mobile phone’ problem, but in this case that sense that the world, and in particular America, were so focussed on the idea of worlds outside our own in the hype of the space race. The events of the book and the actions of various governments in response to those events fit perfectly with the tone that historical period manages to convey. Setting-wise I thought this was great.

This is one of those science fiction books where it is far more about the human relationships and emotions than it is about the technology or the metaphysic of the alien race, which may affect your enjoyment of it, depending on personal preference. Personally, I would have liked a little bit more science fiction added in, but that is entirely on me. I wonder if this would be a good book if you were trying to get into science fiction from another ‘lighter’ genre?

This book builds slowly, but by the end, I was totally hooked and utterly convinced that I was going to end up bawling my eyes out if anything even remotely terrible happened. I, of course, won’t spoil the ending for you but I will say that it is compelling and satisfying.

This is a strong debut, with great promise for future stories. I look forward to seeing what Stephen Cox comes up with next!

My rating: 4/5 stars

Find on Goodreads | Amazon (Affiliate)

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

What say you? Will you be reading Our Child of the Stars? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

J

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