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a star for mrs. blake A Star For Mrs. Blake by April Smith | Rating: ★★★☆☆

As far as historical fiction goes, A Star For Mrs. Blake stands out among more recent releases. It is in part based upon/inspired by a true stories. Many people will go into the story with minimal knowledge on the so called “Gold Star Mothers”, especially those who live out of the United States, and will come out of it understanding just a little more than before. April Smith opens our eyes to a part of history that isn’t expressed often and manages to do so with grace.

As a whole, the story is quite moving and really gets you thinking by the time you finish its final pages. There’s an array of characters to see and plots that tie into one another quite well. Most importantly, you meet a woman (Cora) who is incredibly strong, thoughtful, admirable and who begins a journey to Paris; the final resting place of her son who was a casualty in WWI.

We see a colorful and descriptive view from Cora throughout the novel.

I can’t explain it all without spoiling every bit of the novel. But the story that unfolds is a beautiful one; beautiful in the tragedy of losing a child in such a way. It’s a loss many of us can’t imagine.

You may be wondering why I’ve rated it three stars out of five if I thought it was so moving. In spite of all the good in the story, it wasn’t as good as I was expecting. It didn’t quite live up to expectations for me personally. Therefore I urge you to make your own judgements regarding the novel and read it for yourself.

In terms of its flaws…

While it was charming throughout, it was also something I had to force myself to focus upon, which is rare in stories that I don’t hate. Perhaps historical fiction isn’t my cup of tea, given the great descriptions we are provided throughout each chapter. But, at times, it seemed to drag on and at others the story seemed to be cluttered.

Mixed emotions are all I can form when it comes to my opinion.

Still, there’s an undeniable charm about the way that April Smith writes that is sure to move many people who pick up the novel. While it’s not my favorite read, and I may not revisit it, it’s still something that is bound to capture the hearts of many other readers out there. If you enjoy historical fiction, this is the book for you.

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