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"Rebound" by Kwame Alexander
Don't miss best-selling author Kwame Alexander's "Rebound," a new companion novel to his Newbery Award-winner, "The Crossover,"" illustrated with striking graphic novel panels. Pre-order today
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In the modern day timeline, Maya is a resident in medical school who has traveled to Europe to try to find her way beyond a tragedy at her hospital. She finds a ring in a small shop in Edinburgh that she feels she must buy and it changes her life. She starts getting flashbacks and dreams of an earlier time and feels that she has to explore the ring's history. In her travels from Paris to Switzerland, she meets David who wants to help with her quest. In the historical time line, the main character is Rebecca. Her story takes place before and during WWI when she goes to medical school against her parent's insistence that her goal should be to find a husband. While at school, she meets a poor Russian student and falls in love. He gives her the ring to show her his love. Can a ring bring happiness to two women who live over 100 years apart?
Usually when I read dual time line books, I like one story more than the other but in this book, I enjoyed Maya's story as much as I did Rebecca's. This is a beautiful love time periods story and I highly recommend it.
i read an advance copy of this book.
I began this story thinking it was a conventional time travel story. Boy was I in for a surprise. Wrapped in the Stars is so much more than a time travel novel it's hard to know where to start. So I'll begin with the characters themselves.
Honestly, it's like the author was channeling the two women in this book. The story is told in alternating times--Maya's (present) and Rebecca's (early 1900s).
Right from the first chapter I was hooked. I would get so wrapped up in the story I was reading (either Maya's or Rebecca's) that I absolutely hated it when a chapter ended. But by the time I'd read a paragraph into the next chapter, I'd be hooked all over again. . . . And then pissed when THAT chapter ended. This book grabbed me over and over again.
Mikalsen masterfully weaves together at least a half-dozen threads to create a rich, living tapestry: a glimpse into the history of women in medicine, a look at the grassroots organization of the Russian Revolution, early Twentieth Century European social history, parallel love stories, and a FASCINATING mystery/adventure in dual times.
I have this amazingly clear picture of Bern in the early 20th century stuck inside my head! The excitement of the time: a revolution brewing, a war coming, advances in medicine, technology, and revolutionary shifts in gender roles/relations. But even with such a vibrant backdrop, the characters still stand out and do not become lost.
It would be hard for me to say who is the heroine in this story--Maya or Rebecca. So I'm going to say they both are. They are two distinct characters and there is no mistaking their voices. Mikalsen does an excellent job of respecting history and depicts a character--Rebecca-- who is a product of her time even as she rebels against it. Which means she actually ends up sounding and behaving like a woman from 1914, rather than a woman from 2018 dressed in clothing from the period.
And Maya? Well, she is a woman who alternately appears to be coming apart at the seams but also strong, driven, curious, and vulnerable. In other words, she is REAL.
And then there are the secondary characters, like Sarah, who Mikalsen makes you care for with only a few subtle, but powerful, snippets of her life.
Clearly I was floored by this book. Awesome debut and I hope for more.
“Wrapped in the Stars” by Elena Mikalsen is a unique, intriguing and captivating novel that I enjoyed. The Genres for this Novel are Fiction, Woman’s Fiction, Magical Realism and a touch of Historical History. Elena Mikalsen has woven a novel connecting two timelines, characters, events and stories. There is a past timeline and a present timeline with different characters, that seem to eventually complete the puzzle. There is also symbolism. There is a robin and a ring that are very significant in this story .
The characters are complex and complicated. In the present timeline, Maya Radelis has run away from problems with her medical residency, and guilt over her sister’s death . She leaves the United States and finds herself in Scotland. Following the path of a robin, she sees an unusual ring in a jewelry store, and she knows she has to have it. Maya finds herself involved in the history of the ring, and often gets flashbacks. She goes to Paris and meets David a fellow New Yorker. They find themselves in Switzerland to follow the history of the ring and the woman from the past, also a physician. What does all of this mean? Why is this happening? Is there something that is “magical” about this ring? What is the connection?
I would recommend this book to readers that enjoy fiction with a touch of magic realism. I received an ARC from NetGalley for my honest review.