Sunday, April 30, 2017
The Lost History of Stars
In October 1899, the Dutch Afrikaner settlers in South Africa are brutally removed from their homes, their farms are burned to the ground and the women and children are placed in concentration camps. The men have gone off to fight the British whose interest in the lucrative gold mines and control of the region have driven thousands of soldiers to war. What is known as the Boer War lasted for three long harsh years. Through the eyes of 14 yr old Lettie, The Lost History of Stars narrates their unimaginable quarantine living in sparse tents with little food, water or medicine. Lettie forms an unlikely friendship with a young British soldier guarding the camp. He gives her a book by Dickens. Lettie’s love of reading and dreams of writing fill her with the strength she needs to help her mother and siblings through the daily battle of living. It is through the hopeful eyes of this young girl on the cusp of womanhood we learn the brutality of mankind against mankind. Her innocence and disbelief is so raw and honest that the pain is palpable. More than 100 years later, this history I knew little or nothing about is brought to life by this beautifully written work of historical fiction. As I read each chapter I fell deeper into the heart of Lettie’s sorrow, and her determination to remain hopeful. We are all looking up at the sky, the same stars - but cannot manage to peacefully share the same planet. It was happening then and it is happening now. Highly recommend this impassioned novel, you will learn from and love these characters long after the end.