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Night Came with Many Stars

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In Kentucky, back in 1933, Carol's daddy lost his 13-year-old daughter in a game of cards. Award-winning author Simon Van Booy's spellbinding novel spans decades as he tells the story of Carol and the people in her life. Incidents intersect and lives unexpectedly change course in this masterfully interwoven story of chance and choice that leads home again to a night blesse In Kentucky, back in 1933, Carol's daddy lost his 13-year-old daughter in a game of cards. Award-winning author Simon Van Booy's spellbinding novel spans decades as he tells the story of Carol and the people in her life. Incidents intersect and lives unexpectedly change course in this masterfully interwoven story of chance and choice that leads home again to a night blessed with light. "What you give in this world," an old man tells his grandson, "will be given back to you." Those words illuminate the actions within this unforgettable novel and its connected characters. A young man survives two nearly fatal accidents. A Black family saves an orphaned white boy. A pregnant teenager is rescued by the side of the road. An autistic teenager is given his first job. Each incident grows in meaning and power over many decades as we see connections sometimes felt but not always apparent to the people themselves. "Everything was moving," observes Samuel (Carol's grandson) in the Kentucky woods. "An invisible force that was everywhere, and made everything touch." Told by a master storyteller, Night Came with Many Stars is a rare novel that reveals how wondrous, mysterious, and magically connected life can be--the light Simon Van Booy creates in this novel illuminates our own lives.


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In Kentucky, back in 1933, Carol's daddy lost his 13-year-old daughter in a game of cards. Award-winning author Simon Van Booy's spellbinding novel spans decades as he tells the story of Carol and the people in her life. Incidents intersect and lives unexpectedly change course in this masterfully interwoven story of chance and choice that leads home again to a night blesse In Kentucky, back in 1933, Carol's daddy lost his 13-year-old daughter in a game of cards. Award-winning author Simon Van Booy's spellbinding novel spans decades as he tells the story of Carol and the people in her life. Incidents intersect and lives unexpectedly change course in this masterfully interwoven story of chance and choice that leads home again to a night blessed with light. "What you give in this world," an old man tells his grandson, "will be given back to you." Those words illuminate the actions within this unforgettable novel and its connected characters. A young man survives two nearly fatal accidents. A Black family saves an orphaned white boy. A pregnant teenager is rescued by the side of the road. An autistic teenager is given his first job. Each incident grows in meaning and power over many decades as we see connections sometimes felt but not always apparent to the people themselves. "Everything was moving," observes Samuel (Carol's grandson) in the Kentucky woods. "An invisible force that was everywhere, and made everything touch." Told by a master storyteller, Night Came with Many Stars is a rare novel that reveals how wondrous, mysterious, and magically connected life can be--the light Simon Van Booy creates in this novel illuminates our own lives.

30 review for Night Came with Many Stars

  1. 5 out of 5

    Angela M

    When I first read Simon Van Booy about five years ago I knew then that I wanted to read all of the books that’s he’s written. Since then I’ve read five. Well, almost five. I couldn’t finish one of his story collections that I picked up recently, because the stories were just so sad. BUT, the bottom line is that Simon Van Booy writes beautifully and astutely about the human condition. I’m glad that I didn’t let the collection I couldn’t finish deter me from reading this novel, his latest and I’m When I first read Simon Van Booy about five years ago I knew then that I wanted to read all of the books that’s he’s written. Since then I’ve read five. Well, almost five. I couldn’t finish one of his story collections that I picked up recently, because the stories were just so sad. BUT, the bottom line is that Simon Van Booy writes beautifully and astutely about the human condition. I’m glad that I didn’t let the collection I couldn’t finish deter me from reading this novel, his latest and I’m determined to get to the others I haven’t read yet. It’s difficult to write about this novel without giving too much of the story away, so this will be fairly general . This book is full of heart and hope and love. There are characters whose generosity and goodness seem to temper the abuse, the sadness, the heartache reaped on a young girl whose father gambles her away in a card game . The narrative alternates between Carol at 13 years old beginning in 1933 and a boy named Samuel beginning in 1986 and moving forward to 2010. The narratives do converge and through Samuel’s story we discover where Carol is, but I was always interested in knowing how she got there, so I was always glad to get back to her chapters. There are a few chapters interspersed dedicated to some of the other characters connected to Carol and Samuel through the years. Joe is my favorite character and if you read this, you’ll know why. The connections between the characters is one of the things that stands out the most for me in Van Booy’s writing. This is about family relationships, those bestowed by birth and those who become family by circumstances and love. It’s about friends who become friends because of circumstances that bring them together. It’s about the essence of our humanity - ties that bind. If you are already a fan of Van Booy, I don’t have to tell you to read this novel. You no doubt, will want to read it. If you haven’t read Van Booy, I can only say don’t miss out on an extraordinarily gifted writer. In his acknowledgments, Van Booy says, “This work would not have been possible without the love, friendship, and family stories entrusted to me over three decades by the members of one family from rural Kentucky.” Perhaps this is one of the reasons why this book rang so true emotionally. I received an advanced copy of this book from David R. Godine, Publisher through Edelweiss.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Cheri

    The story of one family over generations, from 1933 to 2010, this is a beautifully written story beyond just the words which flow flawlessly, weaving a story through the years with a sense of tender affection for these people. Their stories are filled with hardships, each generation’s hardships affecting the next generation in varying ways and degrees. Family is at the heart of this story, the good, the bad, the ugly - which is often heartbreaking, but there is so much love, and hope, as well. I The story of one family over generations, from 1933 to 2010, this is a beautifully written story beyond just the words which flow flawlessly, weaving a story through the years with a sense of tender affection for these people. Their stories are filled with hardships, each generation’s hardships affecting the next generation in varying ways and degrees. Family is at the heart of this story, the good, the bad, the ugly - which is often heartbreaking, but there is so much love, and hope, as well. It begins with Carol’s story, a young girl, still young enough to carry her beloved doll with her, and little schooling, she ’lay her cheek upon the surface of the yellow tablecloth, between the ghost of her mother’s elbows.’ Her memories of her mother dim and fading, she still clung to the moments she could recall, revisiting them to reassure herself of the love that once was there. A brief moment in time before she becomes the object of a card game, and her father gambles her away to another man. This quickly jumps from the beginning of Carol’s story to Samuel’s which begins in 1986, but goes back and forth through the years and the stories of that include other characters, as well through the years. Some of which are memorable in a heartwarming way, while some do not outwardly seem worthy of redemption. The hardships and ugliness they’ve each endured leaves a mark on themselves, as well, and history is repeated until fate delivers a different path. This is the fourth of his books that I’ve read, the first of which was around ten years ago, and his stories and his writing lured me in from the first page each and every time. Each word seems specific, chosen to convey the exact message, emotion, through compassion, allowing the reader to internalize the pain, love, adaptability and brevity of life, as well as the continued hope that kindness, love and hope will prevail. Many thanks for the ARC provided by David R. Godine, Publisher / Ingram Publisher Services

  3. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Rural Kentucky A family is followed through nearly a century in dual timelines. 1933… Carol, 13 yrs old was wagered and lost by her father in a poker game to a man who raped and impregnated her. She manages to run away and ends up at a house ran by a couple older women and she lives there for several after her disabled son is born.. the novel follows her entire life from then on. The other timeline starts in 1986 with Samuel, her grandson who at 13, has his eye permanently damaged by his best frien Rural Kentucky A family is followed through nearly a century in dual timelines. 1933… Carol, 13 yrs old was wagered and lost by her father in a poker game to a man who raped and impregnated her. She manages to run away and ends up at a house ran by a couple older women and she lives there for several after her disabled son is born.. the novel follows her entire life from then on. The other timeline starts in 1986 with Samuel, her grandson who at 13, has his eye permanently damaged by his best friend in shop class by accident.. and the story follows his life and family. I enjoyed the story.. a book about family, choices, luck, some sadness too… just, life. This had some really great characters too!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Cheri

    I had the pleasure of listening to the Audiobook version of this story, which is beautifully narrated by Courtney Patterson. If you enjoy listening to audiobooks I highly recommend this one. Hearing her narrate this one with the lovely Kentucky cadence added to this story for me. It added to the story, listening to this story in the way that I imagine Van Booy could hear it as he wrote it. The story of one family over generations, from 1933 to 2010, this is a beautifully written story beyond jus I had the pleasure of listening to the Audiobook version of this story, which is beautifully narrated by Courtney Patterson. If you enjoy listening to audiobooks I highly recommend this one. Hearing her narrate this one with the lovely Kentucky cadence added to this story for me. It added to the story, listening to this story in the way that I imagine Van Booy could hear it as he wrote it. The story of one family over generations, from 1933 to 2010, this is a beautifully written story beyond just the words which flow flawlessly, weaving a story through the years with a sense of tender affection for these people. Their stories are filled with hardships, each generation’s hardships affecting the next generation in varying ways and degrees. Family is at the heart of this story, the good, the bad, the ugly - which is often heartbreaking, but there is so much love, and hope, as well. It begins with Carol’s story, a young girl, still young enough to carry her beloved doll with her, and little schooling, she ’lay her cheek upon the surface of the yellow tablecloth, between the ghost of her mother’s elbows.’ Her memories of her mother dim and fading, she still clung to the moments she could recall, revisiting them to reassure herself of the love that once was there. A brief moment in time before she becomes the object of a card game, and her father gambles her away to another man. This quickly jumps from the beginning of Carol’s story to Samuel’s which begins in 1986, but goes back and forth through the years and the stories of that include other characters, as well through the years. Some of which are memorable in a heartwarming way, while some do not outwardly seem worthy of redemption. The hardships and ugliness they’ve each endured leaves a mark on themselves, as well, and history is repeated until fate delivers a different path. This is the fourth of his books that I’ve read, the first of which was around ten years ago, and his stories and his writing lured me in from the first page each and every time. Each word seems specific, chosen to convey the exact message, emotion, through compassion, allowing the reader to internalize the pain, love, adaptability and brevity of life, as well as the continued hope that kindness, love and hope will prevail. Pub Date: 08 Jun 2021 Many thanks for the ARC provided by HighBridge Audio, Narrated by Courtney Patterson

  5. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    This is a well-written family saga that begins in 1933 when 13 year old Carol’s abusive father turns her over to an even more abusive man. The rest of the story tells what happens to Carol after she escapes these men. The book skips around in time and among Carol, her children and her grandchildren. All of the events and characters were believable and the ending was sad, but realistic. I would read more by this author. Courtney Patterson did a good job narrating the audiobook. I received a free This is a well-written family saga that begins in 1933 when 13 year old Carol’s abusive father turns her over to an even more abusive man. The rest of the story tells what happens to Carol after she escapes these men. The book skips around in time and among Carol, her children and her grandchildren. All of the events and characters were believable and the ending was sad, but realistic. I would read more by this author. Courtney Patterson did a good job narrating the audiobook. I received a free copy of this audiobook from the publisher.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Anne (On semi-hiatus)

    "Writing the novel was not so much an intellectual exercise as it was an empathetic one.” Simon Van Booy talks with Jennifer Solheim about his new novel, Night Came with Many Stars Van Booy’s empathy for his characters is one of the most palpable aspects of this novel. He creates a world in which most of the people are physically and/or emotionally damaged and shows how love and compassion can help these people move on from their pain. He writes this with beautifully poetic prose, one of the grea "Writing the novel was not so much an intellectual exercise as it was an empathetic one.” Simon Van Booy talks with Jennifer Solheim about his new novel, Night Came with Many Stars Van Booy’s empathy for his characters is one of the most palpable aspects of this novel. He creates a world in which most of the people are physically and/or emotionally damaged and shows how love and compassion can help these people move on from their pain. He writes this with beautifully poetic prose, one of the greatest strengths of the novel. There is quite a bit of trauma in this story but it is told with such delicacy that the impact lands more softly than seems possible. In 1930s rural Kentucky, Carol, an illiterate thirteen-year-old girl is given to her father’s drinking buddy when he loses a poker game. In 1990s suburban Louisville, Samuel, a middle-school boy, is accidentally blinded in one eye by his best friend, and struggles with where he belongs, and how he should be in the world. Their stories and those of three generations of their families weave together over the course of this novel. The narrative alternates every other chapter between Carol and Samuel, moving forward to 2010. Several family members and friends also take part in telling the story. I struggled with this aspect of the novel. I found it difficult to stay connected to the characters with so many abrupt changes. So, unfortunately, I often felt removed from the characters and their stories. Otherwise, a gorgeously written novel with a beautiful message. Courtney Patterson narrated this audiobook. She did an amazing job bringing all the different characters to life. Thank you to RB Media and Netgalley for a copy of this audiobook.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Malia

    For some reason, Night Came with Many Stars reminded me a lot of Where the Crawdads Sing, but it was much better written in my opinion and the characters far less clichéd and irritating (can you tell I was not a fan of the latter book?!) I liked the multiple POVs, and though it took me a moment to get used to the structure of frequent time jumps, after a while I felt it really added a roundness to the story. This is my first book by Van Booy, but I don't think it will be my last. He has a talent For some reason, Night Came with Many Stars reminded me a lot of Where the Crawdads Sing, but it was much better written in my opinion and the characters far less clichéd and irritating (can you tell I was not a fan of the latter book?!) I liked the multiple POVs, and though it took me a moment to get used to the structure of frequent time jumps, after a while I felt it really added a roundness to the story. This is my first book by Van Booy, but I don't think it will be my last. He has a talent for telling a dramatic story in a quiet way, and an insightful manner of looking at the inner and outer lives of his characters that appealed to me. Recommended! Thanks to Netgalley for providing me with this copy of Night Came with Many Stars in exchange for an honest review. Find my book reviews and more at http://www.princessandpen.com

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I listened to this and it’s honestly one of the best novels I’ve ever heard. I. Loved. It. It was narrated by Courtney Patterson and she did a wonderful job. Her storytelling was magical. This was about life, loss and and family. I had no idea this was going to pull me in and not let go. The writing had great pace and depth. It was a pleasure to listen to and I look forward to more from this author. I highly recommend it and think it would be a great summer read. Thanks HighBridge Aud 5 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ I listened to this and it’s honestly one of the best novels I’ve ever heard. I. Loved. It. It was narrated by Courtney Patterson and she did a wonderful job. Her storytelling was magical. This was about life, loss and and family. I had no idea this was going to pull me in and not let go. The writing had great pace and depth. It was a pleasure to listen to and I look forward to more from this author. I highly recommend it and think it would be a great summer read. Thanks HighBridge Audio via Netgalley.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Bianca

    I'm not having the best run lately, this was yet another novel that wasn't bad but failed to excite me. Night Came with Many Stars has a beautiful title and cover. The novel is made up of two alternate narratives. Carol is one of the protagonists. Her father lost her in a game of cards, in Kentucky in 1933. The motherless teen, age unknown, ends up helping a rough around the edges neighbour. Let's just say things don't go too well for her. The second narrative belongs to Samuel, we meet him when he I'm not having the best run lately, this was yet another novel that wasn't bad but failed to excite me. Night Came with Many Stars has a beautiful title and cover. The novel is made up of two alternate narratives. Carol is one of the protagonists. Her father lost her in a game of cards, in Kentucky in 1933. The motherless teen, age unknown, ends up helping a rough around the edges neighbour. Let's just say things don't go too well for her. The second narrative belongs to Samuel, we meet him when he's a teenager, in 1986. The alternating timelines and POVs are the main drawback when it comes to this novel, as I was abruptly pulled out of the story completely, just as I was getting comfortable getting to know Carol or Samuel. It just didn't work for me at all. It took me a long time to realise how Carol and Samuel connected. Their individual stories were fine, although not awfully interesting. They were, afterall, ordinary people, most of us are. I thought Night Came with Many Start was directionless and its delivery was not that inspired. Upon finishing, I couldn't quite get why Van Booy chose to have Samuel as such a big part of the novel. In conclusion, I expected to like this much more than I did. The narrator of this audiobook, Courtney Patterson, did an excellent job. I've received this audiobook via Netgalley, in exchange for my honest review.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Laur

    Night Came with Many Stars opens up with a story In Kentucky, set back in 1933. Carol's daddy is abusive and lost his thirteen-year-old daughter in a game of cards. The novel spans decades from 1933 to 2010, as the story of Carol and the people in her life are told. The events and the lives of the characters are interwoven, and unexpectedly change course in this story of chance and choice that will eventually lead home again to a night blessed with light and peace. Leapfrogging, using a span of t Night Came with Many Stars opens up with a story In Kentucky, set back in 1933. Carol's daddy is abusive and lost his thirteen-year-old daughter in a game of cards. The novel spans decades from 1933 to 2010, as the story of Carol and the people in her life are told. The events and the lives of the characters are interwoven, and unexpectedly change course in this story of chance and choice that will eventually lead home again to a night blessed with light and peace. Leapfrogging, using a span of time with one character, then changing to a different character and different span of time in the next chapter, became a bit of a challenge to keep the story flowing smooth and harmonious, even though I see the author’s intent for connection. Maybe it was just me, but I found that rhythm harder to follow. However, exceptional praise for narrator Courtney Patterson, who did an amazing job with narration. Character voices were well defined, good accents. Night Came with Many Stars is a novel that reveals how remarkable and powerful connected life can be—how what seems dark, can eventually be light and upon reflection, illuminous. 3.5 Stars My thanks to NetGalley and the Publisher for an AAC in exchange for my honest review.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Shannon A

    A tale of a daughter gambled away by a bad hand of cards told in such beautiful, humble prose that the reader doesn’t feel worthy to read the words. To read Van Booy is akin to a secret whispered and never to be forgotten. Simply amazed that I , a mere mortal ...get to live in the world with writers that write like him. Every page is a gift.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    My dad was a whistler. When we were in stores that’s how we would find him, we’d listen for his whistling and use our whistle -radar to hone in on his location. When people asked him why he whistled he invariably replied “You can always trust someone who whistles.” I kept waiting for this line to show up in Simon VanBooy’s latest “Night Came With Many Stars.” Although it wasn’t ever stated, it’s implied. A bit of my dad, 20 years gone, brought back in a book. Simon VanBooy is a weaver. His storie My dad was a whistler. When we were in stores that’s how we would find him, we’d listen for his whistling and use our whistle -radar to hone in on his location. When people asked him why he whistled he invariably replied “You can always trust someone who whistles.” I kept waiting for this line to show up in Simon VanBooy’s latest “Night Came With Many Stars.” Although it wasn’t ever stated, it’s implied. A bit of my dad, 20 years gone, brought back in a book. Simon VanBooy is a weaver. His stories have word threads pulled at one end and the resulting tug is seen pages or chapters later. Interwoven always with the threads are emotions, built on moments of beauty and grace. This tapestry continues with this latest. While not containing the emotional reveal and impact at the end as in my favorite VanBooy “Father’s Day,” “Night Came With Many Stars” travels back between years telling the story of a family with secrets that never seem secretive and relationships that evolve and last. VanBooy is always weaving us through lives, showcasing the moments that matter with a splash of color and a tug on our human string of emotions. He also helps us hear the whistlers. I received this book as an ARC from the kindly publisher.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lolly K Dandeneau

    via my blog:https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/ 𝐂𝐚𝐫𝐨𝐥 𝐡𝐚𝐮𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐮𝐥𝐥 𝐛𝐮𝐜𝐤𝐞𝐭 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞, 𝐭𝐫𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐥𝐥. 𝐇𝐞𝐫 𝐝𝐚𝐝𝐝𝐲 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐧 𝐬𝐨𝐨𝐧, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐚 𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐢𝐭 𝐬𝐞𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐟𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧 𝐝𝐫𝐨𝐩, 𝐚𝐬 𝐢𝐟 𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐧 𝐞𝐲𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐚 𝐬𝐮𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐬𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐥, 𝐠𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐦𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐬. Simon Van Booy is the writer whose work led me back to reading short stories years ago. His character’s struggles and emotional lives are so beautiful, even in the worst situations. My favorite authors are always the ones whose sente via my blog:https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/ 𝐂𝐚𝐫𝐨𝐥 𝐡𝐚𝐮𝐥𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐟𝐮𝐥𝐥 𝐛𝐮𝐜𝐤𝐞𝐭 𝐢𝐧𝐬𝐢𝐝𝐞, 𝐭𝐫𝐲𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐧𝐨𝐭 𝐭𝐨 𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐥𝐥. 𝐇𝐞𝐫 𝐝𝐚𝐝𝐝𝐲 𝐰𝐨𝐮𝐥𝐝 𝐫𝐞𝐭𝐮𝐫𝐧 𝐬𝐨𝐨𝐧, 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐥𝐢𝐤𝐞 𝐚 𝐝𝐚𝐫𝐤 𝐬𝐩𝐢𝐫𝐢𝐭 𝐬𝐞𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐫𝐨𝐮𝐠𝐡 𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐲 𝐟𝐚𝐥𝐥𝐞𝐧 𝐝𝐫𝐨𝐩, 𝐚𝐬 𝐢𝐟 𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡 𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐚𝐧 𝐞𝐲𝐞 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐥𝐢𝐟𝐞 𝐚 𝐬𝐮𝐜𝐜𝐞𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐨𝐟 𝐬𝐦𝐚𝐥𝐥, 𝐠𝐥𝐚𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐦𝐢𝐬𝐭𝐚𝐤𝐞𝐬. Simon Van Booy is the writer whose work led me back to reading short stories years ago. His character’s struggles and emotional lives are so beautiful, even in the worst situations. My favorite authors are always the ones whose sentences swallow me whole, and his earlier work set the bar high. Night Came With Many Stars is a tale of hope and survival but it is not without pain. Carol is the source from which the story and every character flows. It begins in Kentucky, 1933 with Carol aching for her mother, who is now nothing more than “a collection of moments”. As much as she wishes her mamma were still alive she dreams her cruel daddy will fall through the rotting porch of their crumbling home, leading to hell where surely the devil will take him. Fate has no such blessings as that for her, just the opposite. With his breath stinking of the sin of alcohol, he tells her he has lost her in a game of cards. A man named Travis Curt is coming to collect thirteen-year-old Carol, his prize. Carol wishes she and Mary Bright could run away together, a doll her mother made for her and like the yellow table cloth she was made upon, a reminder of her mother’s love. The question is, what does Travis intend to do with his winnings? The beautiful use of the doll, Mary Bright, was clever writing for a symbol of innocence. 1986: Eighth grader Samuel is in his last class of the day, shop. Sitting with his friend Eddie , he is thinking about all the ways Eddie has been a solid, loyal pal. In a moment of stupidity, an accident occurs that alters things for Samuel but does nothing to ruin their bond. A year later, high school is on the horizon but Eddie’s life in between has been filled with hardship, as Samuel’s has been full of surgeries. Bad choices have followed in the wake of a moment, giving Eddie a rotten reputation. Things go from bad to worse, but how will life turn out for Samuel through the years? Will he grow up to be a good man or a selfish one? How long will their friendship last? I only wish that Samuel was as interesting as his troubled friend because if I am honest, he is the one I longed to follow. The other character I adored was Samuel’s Uncle Rusty. He represents love in it’s purest form, despite his childlike mind, his heart beats the loudest in their little family. Memories of being paid for his work when he was young with bottles of cola may seem foolish, but Rusty is much wiser than the rest and the reader will understand everything about him by the end. Other characters enter the tale, and they all have ties to the past and each other. Some actions are ugly but much of the novel is just. Lines of who is good and who is bad, here as in life, aren’t clearly defined as we read about how bad a rep Eddie has, locally. By any measure, when it comes to his protectiveness of Samuel, he isn’t the devil at all. Carol’s father, though, is another story. Bessie and Martha are strong characters, I would have loved more time with them too. It is their strength that gives Carol the chance for a solid future. Carol begins as a pitifully sad tangle of bony limbs, used and abused but her salvation comes in the unexpected form of an old man and a home with tough women. She spends much of her life confronting obstacles, and is stronger, braver for it. But before she knows kindness, she must know escape. Her life is revealed in a shifting time line, and with each person we meet in our reading a link. I only wish that several of the characters stayed longer, like Old Man Walker. It’s a beautiful novel, but I wanted more time to burrow into the emotions and past of the people within, it all rushed by too fast. Still, a moving, lovely read. Publication Date: June 8, 2021 Available Now Godine

  14. 4 out of 5

    Thelma

    without giving too much away, this was a very good story, it is one of those stories that will move you and bring so many tears to your eyes. Night came with many stars it is the story of a man who gave away his daughter after he lost in a gambling card game, this is exactly when the story begins and starts to take shape, at first I was very alarmed and broken to find what the father did, but eventually, we find that things happen for a reason and Carol was in fact much better being far away fro without giving too much away, this was a very good story, it is one of those stories that will move you and bring so many tears to your eyes. Night came with many stars it is the story of a man who gave away his daughter after he lost in a gambling card game, this is exactly when the story begins and starts to take shape, at first I was very alarmed and broken to find what the father did, but eventually, we find that things happen for a reason and Carol was in fact much better being far away from her father. Two different stories that happened simultaneously and at the same time at a different time, connecting in some way or another the story of Carol and Samuel both didn't have an easy life, sam had a terrible accident when he was just a teenager leaving him with scars that will mark him forever even his soul felt like something was missing... this is when this started to connect between them. Two lost souls trying to find a common ground, a familiar place in their lives but at the same time something that will give them peace. The secondary characters were a huge key to helping this story go even deeper but what I really loved was the way it was written in such a way that even if at times was heartbreaking it was also beautiful to hear. The Narrations by Courtney Patterson were great, I think this is the first time I hear her work and I really like the way she brought the story to life. this was a very great journey..

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ines

    First of all, how gorgeous is the cover of this book? Absolutely gorgeous and so very fitting to the story of "Night Came With Many Stars." Simon Van Booy's novel is beautifully voiced by Courtney Patterson, which I understand (and I agree) is an amazing narrator. To those interested, I would describe this as a family saga that illustrates the power of connection and compassion. It was difficult at times for me to grasp what was going on because the chapters kept alternating POV between Carol and First of all, how gorgeous is the cover of this book? Absolutely gorgeous and so very fitting to the story of "Night Came With Many Stars." Simon Van Booy's novel is beautifully voiced by Courtney Patterson, which I understand (and I agree) is an amazing narrator. To those interested, I would describe this as a family saga that illustrates the power of connection and compassion. It was difficult at times for me to grasp what was going on because the chapters kept alternating POV between Carol and Samuel (mostly, although some characters did intervene as well) and timeframes, which simply means it might have been best for me to read it instead of listening to it. I'm not really used to the narrator's type of accent (Southern I'd guess) but she is so generous with her emotions that it was easy to follow the intents of the story after I got used to it

  16. 5 out of 5

    N.

    I absolutely loved Night Came with Many Stars! In fact, I deliberately dragged out the reading a bit, although at the same time I didn't want to put it down, if that makes sense. Set in Kentucky, a historical/mostly contemporary (starting in the 1980s and moving forward) combo novel, Night Came with Many Stars tells a multigenerational story of pain, abuse, and how even those in the worst of circumstances can remake their lives. Full disclosure: Simon and I are friends, although I would not hesita I absolutely loved Night Came with Many Stars! In fact, I deliberately dragged out the reading a bit, although at the same time I didn't want to put it down, if that makes sense. Set in Kentucky, a historical/mostly contemporary (starting in the 1980s and moving forward) combo novel, Night Came with Many Stars tells a multigenerational story of pain, abuse, and how even those in the worst of circumstances can remake their lives. Full disclosure: Simon and I are friends, although I would not hesitate to share anything I disliked about the book (he knows that; I've done so). But I thought it was flawless. Worth mentioning: Simon is British but lived in Kentucky for a few years. Clearly, he has a great ear for dialect because I never would have known he grew up in Wales from the dialogue or narrative. I'm so impressed. It's my humble opinion that this is by far his best novel.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Anne

    Simon van Booy is one of the most talented and creative writers and yet doesn’t seem to get much attention in the USA. His writing is really beautiful and his word pictures and characters will linger in your mind long after the last page. In this story generations separate the two main characters Carol and Samuel. At first the reader is unaware of their connection but we soon begin to learn the author is telling is one story rather than two. As the book opens we learn Carol’s no good father has Simon van Booy is one of the most talented and creative writers and yet doesn’t seem to get much attention in the USA. His writing is really beautiful and his word pictures and characters will linger in your mind long after the last page. In this story generations separate the two main characters Carol and Samuel. At first the reader is unaware of their connection but we soon begin to learn the author is telling is one story rather than two. As the book opens we learn Carol’s no good father has wagered and lost her in a game of cards. Roughly 50 years later Samuel is a senior in high school embarrassed by a disfiguring injury he suffered accidentally at the hands of his best friend. Life isn’t necessarily pretty in the stories of these two characters but the reader is anxious to learn more about them; the author brings them so vividly alive on the pages. If you liked Betty, Shiner, Winter’s Bone or other books like them then chances are good you will like this new one by Simon van Booy. I know I did. Thank you to @ingram.publisher.services for this #advancereaderscopy.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Gibson

    This is a beautifully-written novel with such well-crafted characters. The novel spans lifetimes but never gets mired in too much detail, instead deftly painting the characters’ pain, loss, and treasures. Interspersed throughout Van Booy drops literary gems that I savored and marked to return to again. I love that Van Booy based his title on a book of William Steig’s.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Kathidfsmc

    I loved this book the character development was incredible and I felt as if I wasliving beside all of them. A beautiful story filled with pain, love and hope. I love this author and the book didn’t disappoint

  20. 5 out of 5

    Audreygold

    4.5 stars. Beautiful writing. Lots of characters that are interesting and unique. Some of the chapters would be excellent stand alone short stories that are woven together for this novel. Set in Kentucky from 1939 - 2000. I didn't want to the book to end. Good for fans of "Where the Crawdads Sing" & "The Giver of Stars" and this novel is better. 4.5 stars. Beautiful writing. Lots of characters that are interesting and unique. Some of the chapters would be excellent stand alone short stories that are woven together for this novel. Set in Kentucky from 1939 - 2000. I didn't want to the book to end. Good for fans of "Where the Crawdads Sing" & "The Giver of Stars" and this novel is better.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Armağan

    "What you give in this world will be given back to you. And what you take will be taken from you. Them's the oldest words I know. I was just a lil'un when that got told to me, but I always remember to pass it on." "What you give in this world will be given back to you. And what you take will be taken from you. Them's the oldest words I know. I was just a lil'un when that got told to me, but I always remember to pass it on."

  22. 5 out of 5

    Zaba Cita Novine

    Even though my rating is so horrible, I did like this book. Buuuut, I think it is mainly thanks to the narrator. Courtney Patterson, you're a star. So, this book follows 2 people and we have 2 main narratives, although there are some chapters "dedicated" to other characters for no obvious reason. But okay, I guess. 1. We follow Carol in the 1930s. Her father lost her in the game of cards to a guy who would rape and impregnate her. She had a rough life, and something about the vibe of her story rem Even though my rating is so horrible, I did like this book. Buuuut, I think it is mainly thanks to the narrator. Courtney Patterson, you're a star. So, this book follows 2 people and we have 2 main narratives, although there are some chapters "dedicated" to other characters for no obvious reason. But okay, I guess. 1. We follow Carol in the 1930s. Her father lost her in the game of cards to a guy who would rape and impregnate her. She had a rough life, and something about the vibe of her story reminded me of Before We Were Yours. 2. In the second story, we follow Samuel, a teenager in the 1980s. There is nothing special about Samuel. He is a kind guy and that's all. He is also Carol's grandson, but they have no connection apart from that. So, I really have no idea why there were 2 stories. It was distracting and made no sense. If the stories were intertwined or if Carol and Samuel had some suuuper deep connection, I would get it. But not like this. Because just when you get into the story and start empathizing with a character, he/she is pushed aside and you are taken to another time and another protagonist. Also, there was no plot. There is no reason why the story of these two people is being told. They are ordinary people who had a rough life (well, Carol did) and that's all. As I said, Samuel is a nice guy, but there is nothing special about him and I really see no point at all for the existence of him as a character. The writing style was nice, really, even enjoyable. The reading of Courtney Patterson was even better, and it might be the sole reason I enjoyed this book. It's not bad, but there is NOTHING special about it and I wonder if I'll even remember it tomorrow. A big thank you to NetGalley and HighBridge Audio for providing me with a free version of this audiobook in exchange for an honest review.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Niki Grosios

    Thank you NetGalley and the publisher of Night Came with Many Stars for allowing me to listen to an advanced copy of this beautiful audiobook. What a phenomenal journey I have been on! Before beginning, I think it’s important to warn readers that this book contains some heavy themes such as sexual abuse and substance abuse. Simon Van Booy’s Night Came with Many Stars is set in Kentucky and tells the life-long story of Carol and the people who enter and exit her world over the course of her life. Thank you NetGalley and the publisher of Night Came with Many Stars for allowing me to listen to an advanced copy of this beautiful audiobook. What a phenomenal journey I have been on! Before beginning, I think it’s important to warn readers that this book contains some heavy themes such as sexual abuse and substance abuse. Simon Van Booy’s Night Came with Many Stars is set in Kentucky and tells the life-long story of Carol and the people who enter and exit her world over the course of her life. This novel follows Carol’s hardships, but also the triumphs of her life and how they shape both her and the people around her. This book is ultimately about the power of the family you choose and not necessarily the one you are born in to. Carol’s story reminds us that family isn’t always blood. I utterly adored the way Simon Van Booy linked every character back to Carol. Figuring out how they all related to her and her story was so intriguing and made it difficult to put the book down. Van Booy’s narrative beautifully flashes from the past to the present and then back again with such elegance, allowing readers the opportunity to fully understand the motives and choices of each character at that particular moment in time. Van Booy’s story conveys a beautiful message in that love, compassion and hope can and will always prevail over pain and hatred. Life may not be easy, but it’s the challenges we face that shape who we are. Night Came with Many Stars moved me in a way I didn’t see coming, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if this was to become an Oprah or Reese’s Book Club pick. That’s how much I believe in this book. It’s an easy five out five stars for me. This was my first Van Booy novel and I hope to read more of his work in the future. The advanced copy of this audiobook was provided to me by NetGalley and was narrated by Courtney Patterson.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jude

    Having read several of van Booy's books previously, at first I was a bit bewildered by what I perceived as a radical departure in terms of setting and subject matter in this latest novel. I should have known better, though, because Night Came with Many Stars displays all of the author's gifts I've come to know in his previous work: the clear, concise, often poetic language and the melody of his sentences, but more notably, the underpinning belief that people are essentially good. I'm far from th Having read several of van Booy's books previously, at first I was a bit bewildered by what I perceived as a radical departure in terms of setting and subject matter in this latest novel. I should have known better, though, because Night Came with Many Stars displays all of the author's gifts I've come to know in his previous work: the clear, concise, often poetic language and the melody of his sentences, but more notably, the underpinning belief that people are essentially good. I'm far from the first to emphasize the deep humanity that shines through van Booy's work. It's a fundamental quality common to all his books, and it has perhaps never been on better display than in this multi-generational novel full of characters faced with tough circumstances and difficult choices--characters who nonetheless exhibit unselfish grace and offer and receive redemption, to the great satisfaction of the reader. Despite the challenges and life-changing tragedies these characters face, the author somehow manages to imbue the entire story with an undeniable optimism; unthinkable events occur and yet the reader believes in her heart that while nothing will ever be the same, these characters will get through their trials and emerge stronger for it. How van Booy manages to fill his reader with the same compassion for these characters as he clearly has himself is a mystery, but that's apparently his Super Power and how fortunate we are to be its benefactors! To be reminded of the innate humanity we all possess--of what we can take and of what we can give--especially in the challenging times we're living in right now--what more could any reader hope for? A novel like this is why I read, and call me romantic, but I do believe if more people read such novels, the world would be better place.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Niki Grosios

    Thank you NetGalley and the publisher of Night Came with Many Stars for allowing me to listen to an advanced copy of this beautiful audiobook. What a phenomenal journey I have been on! Before beginning, I think it’s important to warn readers that this book contains some heavy themes such as sexual abuse and substance abuse. Simon Van Booy’s Night Came with Many Stars is set in Kentucky and tells the life-long story of Carol and the people who enter and exit her world over the course of her life. Thank you NetGalley and the publisher of Night Came with Many Stars for allowing me to listen to an advanced copy of this beautiful audiobook. What a phenomenal journey I have been on! Before beginning, I think it’s important to warn readers that this book contains some heavy themes such as sexual abuse and substance abuse. Simon Van Booy’s Night Came with Many Stars is set in Kentucky and tells the life-long story of Carol and the people who enter and exit her world over the course of her life. This novel follows Carol’s hardships, but also the triumphs of her life and how they shape both her and the people around her. This book is ultimately about the power of the family you choose and not necessarily the one you are born in to. Carol’s story reminds us that family isn’t always blood. I utterly adored the way Simon Van Booy linked every character back to Carol. Figuring out how they all related to her and her story was so intriguing and made it difficult to put the book down. Van Booy’s narrative beautifully flashes from the past to the present and then back again with such elegance, allowing readers the opportunity to fully understand the motives and choices of each character at that particular moment in time. Van Booy’s story conveys a beautiful message in that love, compassion and hope can and will always prevail over pain and hatred. Life may not be easy, but it’s the challenges we face that shape who we are. Night Came with Many Stars moved me in a way I didn’t see coming, and I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if this was to become an Oprah or Reese’s Book Club pick. That’s how much I believe in this book. It’s an easy five out five stars for me. This was my first Van Booy novel and I hope to read more of his work in the future. The advanced copy of this audiobook was provided to me by NetGalley and was narrated by Courtney Patterson.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Betsy Warner

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to listen to this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. I was unfamiliar with the author Simon Van Booy before reading this book, but am so glad I was given the opportunity to listen to this wonderful audiobook by this talented author. I plan to check out more of his books. This book tells the story of Carol starting at age 13, in 1933, when her father lost her in a game of cards. The book follows by skipping in time from 1933 to Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the opportunity to listen to this audiobook in exchange for an honest review. I was unfamiliar with the author Simon Van Booy before reading this book, but am so glad I was given the opportunity to listen to this wonderful audiobook by this talented author. I plan to check out more of his books. This book tells the story of Carol starting at age 13, in 1933, when her father lost her in a game of cards. The book follows by skipping in time from 1933 to 2010 and tells the story of what happens to Carol and various members of her family and other important people in her life. This story engaged me from the beginning and had a satisfying, realistic ending. The characters were brought to life by the author's beautiful writing style and the amazing narrator, Courtney Patterson. The author's writing style and Ms. Patterson's narration seemed to match perfectly. Her character voices were well defined and fit each character in a natural and not "over the top" manner. This was honestly one of my favorite books I have listened to this year. I am sure that it would be equally engaging in print form because of the author's detailed character development and flowing story line, but if you are an audiobook listener, you will love this one! I highly recommend it.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    The Night Came With Many Stars by Simon Van Booy is the story of two people, with most chapters alternating between the two. Carol is a little girl in the 1930's whose father loses her in a card game to a man who impregnates her at a young age. Her story doesn't get much happier throughout the book...Samuel is a boy in the 1980's that suffered an eye injury at a young age and that follows him around and impacts his life forever. Carol is Samuel's grandmother. This is the story of their life and The Night Came With Many Stars by Simon Van Booy is the story of two people, with most chapters alternating between the two. Carol is a little girl in the 1930's whose father loses her in a card game to a man who impregnates her at a young age. Her story doesn't get much happier throughout the book...Samuel is a boy in the 1980's that suffered an eye injury at a young age and that follows him around and impacts his life forever. Carol is Samuel's grandmother. This is the story of their life and finding that commonality between the two of them. First off, Courtney Patterson did an amazing job narrating this book. It took me a little time to get used to her heavy Southern drawl, but once I did, it was perfection. Her voice lent to the characters in the book so well. As for the story? Well, I didn't LOVE this story. As others have mentioned, it was difficult for me to really get into this book. I'm fine with jumping between two stories and time periods, as the book does with Carol and Samuel's stories, but I just didn't get into the stories themselves. I will say that the book cover is just beautiful though! I was given this audiobook by the publisher as an ARC in return for an honest review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Night Came With Many Stars by Simon Van Booy and narrated by Courtney Patterson is an excellent audiobook that is truly fascinating, unique, and kept me engaged from beginning to end. I loved the concept, pacing, and plot of this novel is truly memorable. The author weaves together a story of one family spread out into multiple generations, characters, and timeframes. At first one is not sure how all these different episodes, characters, and memories all relate, but as the book continues, the rea Night Came With Many Stars by Simon Van Booy and narrated by Courtney Patterson is an excellent audiobook that is truly fascinating, unique, and kept me engaged from beginning to end. I loved the concept, pacing, and plot of this novel is truly memorable. The author weaves together a story of one family spread out into multiple generations, characters, and timeframes. At first one is not sure how all these different episodes, characters, and memories all relate, but as the book continues, the reader sees all of these pieces come together effortlessly into a complex, fascinating, and raw story. I especially felt a connection and interest in Carol. Without giving too much away, I have to say I highly recommend this book. Take your time, delve in, and truly enjoy. 5/5 stars Thank you NG and HighBridge Audio for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    Night Came With Many Stars by Simon Van Booy and narrated by Courtney Patterson is an excellent audiobook that is truly fascinating, unique, and kept me engaged from beginning to end. I loved the concept, pacing, and plot of this novel is truly memorable. The author weaves together a story of one family spread out into multiple generations, characters, and timeframes. At first one is not sure how all these different episodes, characters, and memories all relate, but as the book continues, the rea Night Came With Many Stars by Simon Van Booy and narrated by Courtney Patterson is an excellent audiobook that is truly fascinating, unique, and kept me engaged from beginning to end. I loved the concept, pacing, and plot of this novel is truly memorable. The author weaves together a story of one family spread out into multiple generations, characters, and timeframes. At first one is not sure how all these different episodes, characters, and memories all relate, but as the book continues, the reader sees all of these pieces come together effortlessly into a complex, fascinating, and raw story. I especially felt a connection and interest in Carol. Without giving too much away, I have to say I highly recommend this book. Take your time, delve in, and truly enjoy. 5/5 stars Thank you NG and HighBridge Audio for this wonderful arc and in return I am submitting my unbiased and voluntary review and opinion. I am posting this review to my GR and Bookbub accounts immediately and will post it to my Amazon, Instagram, and B&N accounts upon publication.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Webgirl

    Format: audiobook Author: Simon Van Booy ~ Title: Night Came with Many Stars ~ Narrator: Courtney Patterson Content: 4.5 stars ~ Narration: 5 stars Complete audiobook review Night Came with Many Stars is a beautifully written novel. It is a family saga that spans from 1933 to 2010. The story unwinds mostly around grandma Carol and her grandson Samuel. This book was my first one by Simon Van Booy, and I was surprised by the quality of his writing. I will look for some other of his works. I would rec Format: audiobook Author: Simon Van Booy ~ Title: Night Came with Many Stars ~ Narrator: Courtney Patterson Content: 4.5 stars ~ Narration: 5 stars Complete audiobook review Night Came with Many Stars is a beautifully written novel. It is a family saga that spans from 1933 to 2010. The story unwinds mostly around grandma Carol and her grandson Samuel. This book was my first one by Simon Van Booy, and I was surprised by the quality of his writing. I will look for some other of his works. I would recommend this novel to literary fiction and historical fiction fans. The narrator is amazing. She managed to bring to life all the characters, and her accent was perfect. Thanks to the publisher HighBridge Audio for the ARC and the opportunity to listen to this! All opinions are my own.

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