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A Song for the Stars

Narrated by: Justine Eyre
Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
Categories: Romance, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (14 ratings)
This title is included in Audible Escape

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Publisher's Summary

Hawaiian Islands, 1779

As the second daughter of a royal chief, Maile will be permitted to marry for love. Her fiance is the best navigator in Hawaii, and he taught her everything he knows - how to feel the ocean, observe the winds, read the stars, and how to love. 

But when sailors from a strange place called England arrive on her island, a misunderstanding ends in battle, and Maile is suddenly widowed before she is wed. 

Finding herself in the middle of the battle and fearing for her life, Maile takes John Harbottle, the wounded man who killed her fiance, prisoner, and though originally intending to let him die, she reluctantly heals him. In the process, she discovers the man she thought was her enemy might be her ally instead. 

John has been Captain James Cook's translator for three voyages across the Pacific. He is kind and clearly fascinated with Maile's homeland and her people - and Maile herself. But guilt continues to drive a wedge between them: John's guilt over the death he caused, and Maile's guilt over the truth about what triggered the deadly battle - a secret she's kept hidden from everyone on the island. 

When Maile is tasked with teaching John how to navigate using the stars so he can sail back to England, they must also navigate the challenges of being from very different cultures. In doing so, they might also find the peace that comes when two hearts become one.

©2019 Ilima Todd (P)2019 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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Added to my list of favorite love stories!

What a truly beautiful story! I generally don't like first person narratives and almost didn't want to start when I realized this was. That would have been a mistake! I loved everything about this book.

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*sigh*

WHAT IT'S ABOUT
As the second daughter of a royal chief, Maile will be permitted to marry for love. Her fiancé is the best navigator in Hawaiʻi, and he taught her everything he knows—how to feel the ocean, observe the winds, read the stars, and how to love.

But when sailors from a strange place called England arrive on her island, a misunderstanding ends in battle, and Maile is suddenly widowed before she is wed.

Finding herself in the middle of the battle and fearing for her life, Maile takes John Harbottle, the wounded man who killed her fiancé, prisoner, and though originally intending to let him die, she reluctantly heals him. And in the process, she discovers the man she thought was her enemy might be her ally instead.

John has been Captain James Cook’s translator for three voyages across the Pacific. He is kind and clearly fascinated with her homeland and her people—and Maile herself. But guilt continues to drive a wedge between them: John’s guilt over the death he caused, and Maile’s guilt over the truth about what triggered the deadly battle—a secret she’s kept hidden from everyone on the island.

When Maile is tasked with teaching John how to navigate using the stars so he can sail back to England, they must also navigate the challenges of being from very different cultures. In doing so, they might also find the peace that comes when two hearts become one.

MY TAKE
*sigh*

I loved this story so much! My daughter and nearly half of my grandkids live in Hawaii, so I've come to love this beautiful place and its culture. In this story, as Maile teaches John how to navigate she also educates him about her culture and herself. It was a wonderful way to introduce readers who aren't familiar with it.

John himself is a treasure. On his own, he'd already been learning the Hawaiian language enough to serve as intrepreter for his captain. John was open in ways that arrogant people coming upon a culture they considered primitive and inferior normally weren't. He had a thirst for knowledge that made him teachable. I don't know many people today who would have been receptive to the idea of lying in a calm ocean pool all day just to learn to understand, to learn to feel--and listen to--the ocean.

Maile was feisty and independent. I'm not many women in her situation (faced with saving the man who'd killed her beloved fiance in a battle) would have preserved his life. But Maile was receptive too and was able to see the man. And their romance was sweet and followed their growing friendship.

Justine Eyre did a wonderful job with the narration.