I can ask no more from a book than to teach me something about myself. In Sight of Stars did just that, and I hope the lesson stays with me, just like the stars ~ that are always there even though it may be dark and cloudy.
This book is not about mental illness but mental health — something we all need to be cognizant of. I am recommending it because it will remind us when we are low or scared or overwhelmed or anxious that we should always turn out to those who love us rather than turning in. Turning in may feel safe, and yet it can have devastating consequences as it did for Klee (pronounced Clay as he was named after the painter Paul Klee).
Maybe I connected so closely to the story because Klee’s father at seventeen was the center of his life and he had just lost him, as my father was in mine when I lost him at twenty-three. When the story opens, Klee finds himself, hurt, confused and scared and in an inpatient PRTF (Psychiatric Residential Treatment Facility). As he struggles to come to grips with the trauma in his life, we struggle with him and learn not just about him but about ourselves. This book has so many moments of wisdom ~ one of the things I think make it a crossover book. Whether you are younger than Klee or more than twice his age, this book will move you. Although it is for mature YA readers and up (with explicit language and sexual content, but not gratuitous and always consensual.)
One of the most fascinating aspects of the book is it uses Van Gogh’s paintings to help tell the story of Klee and his father, both painters, such that a crow can fly out of a painting and become a character, representing Klee’s inner self. I hated that crow and yet we all have one. The voice in our head that can be so cruel.
The painting above is, Van Gogh’s Daubigny’s Garden, and it is central to the story so I wanted to share it with you before you read the book. Notice the cat. The cat is important 😉
I recommend this book to mature YA readers and up but specifically to my social worker and Guardian Ad Litem friends because Klee’s trauma and his journey are so similar to the ones we see all too often.
But this book will not bring you down, it will lift you up.
About the author: *
Gae Polisner is also a domestic attorney and mediator (go figure) who writes YA and women’s fiction and like me loves water (did you know a hot bath can burn as many calories as a 30-minute walk?!!? Afraid to Snoops that article.) She was kind enough to donate a copy of In Sight of Stars to Crossoverbooks. So comment below, (a 🙂 will do) and I will add you to the drawing to occur at the end of the day. And if you have questions for Gae post them here and I will see if I can get them answered.
In Sight of Stars can be found at your favorite local bookstore (mine is Malaprops) and at Barnes and Noble or online at Amazon/Nook/Indibound. Links here: http://gaepolisner.com/
*Pictures used with permission of the author.