Title: Beneath Wandering Stars
Author: Ashlee Cowles
Publisher: Merit Press
Publication Date: August 1, 2016
My Rating: 5 Stars #mustread2017
Summary by Goodreads:
After her soldier brother is horribly wounded in Afghanistan, Gabriela must honor the vow she made: If anything ever happened to him, she would walk the Camino de Santiago through Spain, making a pilgrimage in his name. The worst part is that the promise stipulates that she must travel with her brother’s best friend–a boy she has despised all her life. Her brother is in a coma, and Gabi feels that she has no time to waste, but she is unsure. Will she hesitate too long, or risk her own happiness to keep a promise? An up-close look at the lives of the children of military families, Beneath Wandering Stars takes readers on a journey of love, danger, laughter, and friendship, against all odds.
I picked up this book from the library strictly based on the cover and the brief description inside. I hadn’t heard anything about it from other bloggers beforehand and that is surprising. This book is beyond beautiful. Once I started it, I could not put it down.
The word “home” is has different meanings for different people. For me, home is where I grew up and where I now raise my own family. For those in the military, “home” takes on it’s own meaning. Home = family – where ever that may be. Beneath Wandering Stars gives us a glimpse of how important family is for those in the military and the importance of believing that they will come home.
I loved delving into the internal struggles that both Gabi and Seth dealt with as they pilgrimaged across Camino de Santiago in honor of Gabi’s brother, Lucas who was wounded in Afghanistan. Gabi struggled finding her way under the watchful eye of her military father in their newest “home” across the world in Germany. Leaving behind her boyfriend and many close friends. Seth had his own inner demons too – fighting memories of the war and what happened to Lucas, who also happens to be his best friend. Not only did I learn about the lives of children in military families, but I also was able to see in the window of a soldier returning home from the war just trying to fit back in.
Beneath Wandering Stars is a #mustread2017! I can’t recommend this book enough.