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The River by Starlight: A Novel Paperback – May 8, 2018

4.9 out of 5 stars 68 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


IPPY Gold Medal Winner, Regional Fiction (2018)
Winner, Western Writers of America Spur Award, Best First Novel (2019)
Winner, Sarton Women's Book Awards Historical Fiction (2018)
Grand Prize Short List, Eric Hoffer Book Awards (2019)
First Runner-up in Historical Fiction, Eric Hoffer Book Awards (2019)
First Place-Best in Category, Goethe Award for Historical Fiction, Chanticleer International Book Awards (2018)
Finalist, Western Writers of America Spur Award, Traditional Novel (2019)
Finalist, Fiction, High Plains Book Award (2019)
Next Generation Indie Book Awards Finalist, Regional Fiction (2018)
Finalist, Eric Hoffer Book Awards, da Vinci Eye Award (2019)
Semifinalist, Somerset Award for Literary Fiction, Chanticleer International Book Awards (2018)
Powell's City of Books Staff Pick

“Graceful and unflinching . . . a complex journey of grief, fulfillment, betrayal, and forgiveness.”—Kirkus Reviews

"Captivating . . . the writing is exquisite . . . weaves heartache and redemption together to illuminate the power of love in life’s darkest moments."
Foreword Reviews

“Magical storytelling . . . With intimate and poetic language reminiscent of Paulette Jiles and Marisa de los Santos, Notbohm demonstrates that loss and fragility often exist alongside strength and bliss.”

“Weaves a mesmerizing story with beautiful prose.”
—Historical Novel Society

“Ellen Notbohm’s thought-provoking and beautifully written debut novel . . . dives into the depths of family life and individual psychosis and uncovers a cast of complex and compelling characters that will keep you entranced to the last page.”
—C. P. Lesley, New Books Network

"There is nothing I didn’t love about this book. The language is exquisite, a mixture of steel and silk―the narrative voice uncannily powerful and sure, yet tender. The story will grow tendrils around your heart, squeezing it until you can barely breathe. It’s the story of one woman’s tragic and puzzling mental frailty, but more, it is a love story, and a heart-rending study of the forced redefining of family. Trenchant dialogue and lyrical prose reveal the very soul of the unforgettable characters in this book. Recommended to any reader with a heart."
—Laurel Davis Huber, award-winning author of The Velveteen Daughter

"Heart-wrenching yet hopeful, The River by Starlight is a compelling and beautifully written debut novel."
—Ashley E. Sweeney, award-winning author of Eliza Waite

“Filled with vivid characters and descriptions, heartache, loss and the healing power of love, The River by Starlight is a tribute to so many women who were treated unjustly and who managed to find their way and survive. Bravo, Ellen Notbohm!”
—Kris Radish, bestselling author of A Dangerous Woman from Nowhere

The River by Starlight masterfully weaves the story of Annie and Adam Fielding, two star-crossed people who come together in an attempt to bring forth life on an early 20th-century farm in Montana. Rich with beautiful prose stitched together with authentic, shimmering dialogue and a love story that leaves you aching, Ellen Notbohm’s debut novel is sure to stun.”
—Michelle Cox, award-winning author of the Henrietta and Inspector Howard series

The River by Starlight superbly captures the landscape of early 20th century American West, and the hearts and minds of those who lived there. Notbohm courageously explores life's challenges and mysteries, proving we know not what Mother Nature will deliver nor what secrets our loved ones hold. She deftly depicts vivid settings, expertly portrays memorable characters who are simultaneously fierce and fragile, and artfully develops complex relationships. The prose is beautiful; the dialogue is spot-on; the research is thorough; and the story told so well pages turn themselves. Ultimately, she knits a powerful story with contemporary questions that resonate long after the book is closed.”
—Romalyn Tilghman, award-winning author of To the Stars Through Difficulties

“A ten for voice and originality. Some of the best dialogue I’ve read, a voice that held me spellbound and a story that kept me turning the page. I surprised myself by shedding tears of joy and sorrow as I read; the story is like a symphony in the nuanced way it’s handled.”
—Elizabeth Lyon, author of Manuscript Makeover and six other writing books

“Engages at the cellular level . . . a story that meets the criteria of what William Faulkner said when he accepted the Pulitzer Prize in 1954: ‘The only stories worth a writer’s blood and sweat and tears are stories of the human heart in conflict with itself.’ Thoughtful, tragic, beautifully composed, it’s a book that once begun will not be put down.”
—Jane Kirkpatrick, award-winning and best-selling author of All She Left Behind

“As rich in theme and detail as the Montana sky is in stars. Historical frontier fiction, romance, women’s rights, mental health—all these pieces make for a quilt of impressive design.”
—Brian Juenemann, Eugene Register-Guard

About the Author

An internationally renowned author, Ellen Notbohm’s work has informed and delighted millions in more than twenty languages. Writing from her experiences raising children with autism and ADHD, her perennially popular Ten Things Every Child with Autism Wishes You Knew has been an autism bestseller since 2005.  In addition to her four award-winning books on autism, Ellen’s articles, columns and posts on such diverse subjects as history, genealogy, baseball, writing, and community affairs have appeared in major publications and captured audiences on every continent. Her article collection for Ancestry magazine (2005 – 2010) related stories both poignant and uplifting gathered during extensive research for her award-winning novel, The River by Starlight. A lifelong resident of Oregon, Ellen is an avid genealogist, knitter, reader, beachcomber, and thrift store hound who has never knowingly walked by a used bookstore without going in and dropping coin.

Product details

  • Item Weight : 1 pounds
  • Paperback : 360 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 163152335X
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1631523359
  • Product Dimensions : 5.5 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Publisher : She Writes Press (May 8, 2018)
  • Language: : English
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 68 ratings