She’s only ten years old, but she knows something is wrong with her father. Her mother says he just needs time to rest, to clear his mind. They must never question him.
They must never call the police.
A House Made of Stars is an intense read. Though beautifully written, it might not be for everyone because the themes and some of the scenes are intense and disturbing, and therefore not a story for younger children.
The narrator is a ten year old and we’re shown a dysfunctional family through her eyes. She’s partially deaf, her sister is deaf and it adds to some of the horror that unfolds during the course of the story.
In the beginning, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of the father in the story. Had he suffered a nervous breakdown or was he mentally ill? However, as the story unfolds it becomes clear he obviously comes from a dysfunctional family himself and as the plot delves deeper into the family dynamics, you find yourself on the edge of your seat wondering if this woman and her two children will survive.
Then along comes their grandma who seems to be the knight in shining armor, but like all good books, there is a black moment, a turning point, and soon their father is back in their lives and things spiral out of control.
One element I loved about this story was the theme of the stars and looking up to the sky. Like many who suffer at the hands of another, this character used the constellations as her hope and her light and never stopped believing in a better tomorrow. The last line of the book ‘This house, these stars, I keep for me’, I felt sums up the story beautifully.
If you’re looking for a story that will sometimes make you feel uneasy but yet leave you feeling there’s hope in even the bad things in the world, then I think this is a book you’d enjoy.