Your Eyes in Stars
Two unlikely friends–Elisa, a German outsider, and Jessie, the daughter of the local prison warden–meet during the Depression. In Elisa's far–off homeland, a new dictator is spreading the stain of hate, but the two girls are absorbed in matters closer at hand. Together they explore their small town, dream of the future, and talk about Slater Carr, the angel–faced prisoner whose nightly bugle rendition of Taps holds their small town in thrall and whose actions, one Halloween night, will change everything. "You think about Slater," Jessie says. "I give him to you." A time will come when she will remember saying that to Elisa and regret it with all her heart. Margaret A. Edwards Award–winner M. E. Kerr creates a compelling portrait of America between the World Wars, of friendship, and of innocence lost.
- Hardback | 229 pages
- 147.3 x 208.3 x 25.4mm | 340.2g
- 01 Mar 2006
- HarperCollins Publishers Inc
- New York, NY, United States
A broad-ranging, somewhat unfocused novel on a worthy topic-how small errors in judgment can snowball to disaster-by a YA master. Jessie Myrer, daughter of a small-town New York prison warden, is an outcast; her older brother ignores her, her mother dislikes her and J.J. Joy and the local in-girls think she's tacky. When Elisa, a German whose father teaches at Cornell, comes to town, Jessie finds happiness in their friendship despite both their mothers' disapproval of foreigners. Together the girls conceive a temporary crush on Slater Carr, a prisoner lifer and gifted musician, whom Jessie's father allows special privileges. Carr escapes and accidentally kills J.J.'s father (just as he, ruined by the Depression, was about to commit suicide), which prompts Elisa's family to return to Hitler's Germany. The complicated plot swerves wildly; so many pieces converge that some feel fragmentary. Written predominantly from Jessie's point-of-view, the story switches to a third-person review of Slater's life, letters to Slater from an old friend, and then, in Part Two, letters back and forth from Germany. Finding a cohesive single voice to tell this story wouldn't have been easy, but would have made its impact stronger. (Fiction. 12+) (Kirkus Reviews)