I requested to read via Netgalley, and my thanks go to the publishers for approving my request. This review forms my honest opinion.
He’d have done everything differently if he’d known she’d be gone so soon…
When Lisa married Alex, she gave his life meaning. She was a professional astronomer: a stargazer. And when she gazed at Alex, she saw that behind his tough exterior was a man she could love.
Alex, Lisa and their young son Connor made a happy little universe. But when Lisa dies suddenly, their universe is destroyed. Alex is shattered by loss, and overwhelmed by the difficulties of being a single father to a six-year-old boy.
Then Alex meets four strangers. Two men and two women, who never met Lisa, but whose lives changed profoundly because she died. As Alex hears their stories, he begins to realise the world may not be as cruel and senseless as it seems. Perhaps, after all, the future is written in the stars…
Another new author for me, and Dani Atkins is one I will most definitely be returning to. A Sky Full of Stars was everything I wanted it to be and more. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style which I found to be wonderfully engaging and inviting.
Packing an emotional punch from the off, we know from the blurb that Lisa will die suddenly, and this makes that first family scene all the more poignant. The normality of that first chapter really resonated, and as a Mum myself it stirred up all kinds of emotions within me. Recognition, fear, joy, love.
It is after her death that the story really begins, as Alex, struggling to cope with the death of his wife, forms a bond with four strangers whose lives were also completely altered by Lisa’s death.
The events of the novel are told through the eyes of Alex and Molly (one of the strangers) and the author writes both points of view with great sensitivity and care, and their collective view of Connor’s struggles as he grieves the loss of his mother is heartbreaking to observe. But whilst it’s a story about death and grief, it’s also a story about hope. Although gone, Lisa feels to be present throughout and in a world where death is so final, A Sky Full of Stars offers subtle comfort.
I’ll not say much more about the plot, so as not to give anything away – but this was a book I fully invested in. The characters are all so likeable, and the plot – if in certain areas a little predictable, I really didn’t care because I adored the book. It’s an easy read despite the emotional weight, and the ending was pitched perfectly. At a time in life where we feel to have little to no control over our lives, at a time when there feels to be an excess of grief and suffering in many guises, this was a breath of fresh air. To find hope in and amongst the most traumatic of experiences is a beautiful thing.