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.
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
About the book:
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. But the WWII draft calls him to the war in the Pacific, and with his small chance of return, Cal prepares to part from Kate for good. Inspired by a true story, “By the Stars” shows that love, faith, and perseverance can overcome any obstacle.
About the author:
As a Communication graduate from the University of Utah, Lindsay Ferguson worked as a PR and marketing writer for a computer software company for several years before resigning to focus on raising her family. As a contributor to Deseret Digital Media, she has had lifestyle articles published byksl.com, Deseret News, and FamilyShare.com. She lives in a suburb of Salt Lake City with her husband and four children. By the Stars is her first novel