When Cal finally gets a chance with Kate, the girl he's loved since grade school, their easy friendship quickly blossoms into a meaningful romance. Spirited and independent, Kate keeps a guarded heart due to a painful past, and Cal wants nothing more than to gain her trust. But World War II soon cuts their time far too short, and Cal prepares to part from her - possibly for good. After he's gone, what Kate does next changes everything.
In the suffocating jungles of the Philippines Cal encounters the chilling life of a soldier and deadly battles of war. With Kate's memory willing him on, Cal must put his trust in God to survive if he hopes to ever return to her. Inspired by a true story, By the Stars is a romance that stands the test of time and the most intense obstacles.
|Published||Cedar Fort, Inc. (March 8, 2016)|
...BY THE STARS begins with the story of a young boy welcoming a new girl to the town they both now live in . Before he even gets the chance to know this In his senior year, Cal finally got his chance to ask her to the Prom...she had just broken up with her boyfriend!...Well, almost...until a delivery of flowers arrived from another guy asking her out first.
More years went by until Cal left college to enlist in the Army. He was at church before he was to ship overseas when, suddenly, she was there ...in church. He was dating another girl by this time ad had thought he was serious...maybe not.
He did, unexpectedly, spend little time With his "dream girl". However, she was very anti-marriage...that could be a definite problem. He sadly left to go to training camp before shipping overseas somewhere. What she did next was unthinkable and changed everything!
Cal never understood what Hell could really be like until fighting in the war. There were times he would have been glad to give his life except for one thing...
This is a very spell-binding, adventurous, at times, romantic, at times humorous, tale based on fact, which the reader will be totally captivated by. It aids in one's appreciation of what the military men and women are expected to endure for the sakes of their fellow beings...US! It is a touching poignant story of the faith and perseverance of a boy and a girl - a man ad a woman.
The characters are very real and endearing, the scenes are vivid and easily visualized. The Book Title and Cover are both a very good "fit".
*This book was sent to me in exchange for an honest review, of which I have given.
This earns a very strong Four and a Half Stars rating.
By the Stars, by Lindsay B. Ferguson, which is inspired by a true story, follows the life of Cal Morgan, a Mormon farm boy from the small town of Crescent, Utah.
An elderly Cal is telling his story to a neighbor (the author of this novel, actually), and decided to start his story with a girl named Kate Clayton. He met her in eighth grade, and loved her his whole life.
The book follows him through high school, a relationship with another young woman, his three-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and his service in the Phillipines during World War Two.
At each point in his life, Kate is connected in some way, either via his thoughts, chance meetings, or even the beginnings of a beautiful relationship she isn't quite willing to commit to.
Cal is a character that is easy to like. He is a hard worker, a gentleman, full of faith, and humble. Kate is gorgeous, spunky, confident, popular, but has hidden reservations. Cal, since the first time he met Kate, was smitten with her. It takes Kate much longer to open herself up to him, but eventually falls in love with him too.
The story is rather simple and predictable, but always interesting. I have never really read about soldiers' experiences during WWII, and this book really opened my eyes to some of the horror, and difficult conditions they experienced.
The main characters of the book are LDS, and the Mormon culture is woven throughout, but was written so that people of any faith could love the book.
I thought Ferguson did an excellent job getting the reader into the heads of Kate and Cal. I liked that the perspectives changed occasionally. Their characters were complex and both easy to love. I would be privileged to be friends with either of them.
I loved the title of the book. It was so appropriate since Kate and Cal spend much of their time together under the stars. He also wishes on stars multiple times in the book.
It really was a sweet story, one that inspires the reader to be better and to believe in true love.
I wish there had been some twists and turns in the book, but all in all, it was a really lovely read.
To start, this book was a lot longer than I was expecting it to be—over 300 pages. Some sections probably could have been cut to make it a little bit shorter, but I never felt like it was lagging. I was quite impressed with the author for pulling that off with such a long book. Just know going into it that it's a longer read, and you should be fine. I didn't know that, and I still enjoyed it.
I want to add a little bit of caution for future readers. This is a romance, but it's also a war story. This book contains gruesome war scenes. The author didn't get too graphic or detailed in these chapters, but she stays true to what happens in war. Most adult readers should be fine with it, but use your discretion. Personally, I appreciate how the author handled these scenes. She didn't describe every little bit of what our protagonist, Cal, saw while he was in the Philippines, but she doesn't water down the horrors of war.
Kate and Cal are members of the LDS Church, and as such, this book contains references to their beliefs, values, and the Church itself. But it's not so saturated with obscure references that someone outside the Church would have a hard time understanding or getting through the book.
I really enjoyed the author's writing style, and I thought she did an excellent job of keeping the phrases and slang true to the era this story was written in. She also did well at weaving the romance and the war stories together into one novel.
I thought this was a fantastic book, well written and well researched. I give it a 5 out of 5.
I love what the author says at the end--everyone has a story to tell. My life seems boring in comparison to how amazing this story is. Based on a true story, By the Stars, is full of emotion, miracles, love, and hope.
Cal is just a typical young teen when Kate, a new girl, captures his attention. Completely out of his league, he's surprised when years later, he feels that she's the only girl for him. Following these characters through LDS missions, busy social lives, World War II, and more is extremely heartwarming and entertaining.
The characters reminded me, in small ways, of my grandparents and their experiences. They almost jumped off the pages with their vivid personalities. The dialogue is easily reminiscent of times gone by and I loved being immersed in this time period. I was completely drawn in and felt a part of the story, although there were places when I almost wished for more--more information, more connections, more story--but this shows that it's a great story, because I really didn't want it to end. I found myself in tears, marveling at the miraculous events, as well as with smiles, enjoying the relationships. This is a story that will stay with me for quite awhile. I hope Ms. Ferguson continues to write!
Content: no language; mild romance (kissing); mild religious elements (LDS beliefs and matter-of-fact statements, but not preachy); moderate violence, due to the nature of war, especially to get the point across. Clean for an older reader.
* I received a copy in exchange for an honest review *
Historical Fiction is one of my favorite genre's. I love traveling back in time to places and events that helped shape our world. This is a simple story of an ordinary man who accomplishes extraordinary things just because of his goodness. This book is inspired by a true story and I loved reading the afterword by the author.
We take a journey back through Cal's life starting with events from his eighth grade year in school. Cal is a small town farm boy who works hard alongside his family. He is quiet and a bit shy but he is also kind. I would call him a gentle soul. It was so easy to fall into the book and get swept away into Cal's life. He lived through so many horrific things with WWII and yet still kept intact his gentle kindness.
This has, at it's heart, a love story that spans decades. It was a great story and one I'm glad I read.
Content: Some war violence, at times descriptive. LDS fiction (some religious content and references to things specific to the LDS religion)
My favorite genre is Historical Fiction and this is exactly the kind of gem I love to find -- interesting history where I feel like I’ve learned new insights, a positive message and a romance to boot. I quickly found myself wrapped up, wanting to know Cal and Kate’s story, which is even more fun knowing the events are based on a true story. I found the section when Cal serves in the war fascinating and learned things about what it was like to serve as a soldier in the pacific during WWII I had never heard before. I came away with a renewed appreciation for those brave young men. By the Stars is a fairly quick read and doesn’t have the heaviness that many books that involve war have. Although the author writes the war accurately and with serious respect, there is a continual hopefulness. I loved this book and wish I could find more like it.
This is a very moving story. I was touched by the trials of Cal and Kate as they tried to figure out what they wanted with their lives.
The majority of the story is set during WWII. Cal was away from his home and family for three years serving a mission for his church. He came home and was immediately drafter. During his short period home he reconnected with the girl he had loved from afar as a young boy and teen. Their courtship was quick and intense, but war has a way of leaving the future uncertain.
The book helped me think about how I view history. Often I see events and names of people and forget that they had dreams and hopes. They lived, loved, and faced trials. This book brought the time period to life for me. I loved looking at events through the hearts and minds of Cal and Kate.
Cal's view of the war in the Philippines is not pretty. This book does contain violence. It helped me appreciate the sacrifice of the soldiers who survived and mourn for the fallen soldiers. This book touched my heart on many different levels.
I was amazed by just how much I LOVED this book! I was sucked into Cal's story from the very first page and what made it even better for me was that it is based on a true story. What?! There's really a person that all of this crazy stuff happened to?
I loved the way it starts as a flashback, with an unknown person asking an old Cal about his life. But the whole story is shown through Cal's eyes and you feel as though you were there and lived it with him. I loved the way that he knew at once that Kate was a very special person, and I felt a bit sad for him as he had to watch her date all of he popular boys in High School - something he knew he would never be. Cal and Kate's love story is made all the better by all of the challenges the two of them had to go through to get to where they could be together. Many boyfriends, a crazy more than 3 year long mission, not to even begin to mention the war. Wow!
I though that Cal is a really well-written character, but I love the way that Kate just shines through the whole book. She is one of those amazing take charge people that is able to get just about anything she wants, even if it means breaking a rule or two. And people bend over backwards for her.
This book is amazing, I didn't want to stop reading until I found out all of Cal and Kate's story. It's clean and inspirational, you won't regret picking this one up! I'm hoping for more from Lindsay Ferguson really soon!
I was sent an e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.