Swearing Off Stars

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A tempestuous, fiery page-turner that will leave you aching and begging for more, Swearing Off Stars is a novel with both great heart and unforgettable characters. It has everything from Oxford student movements to movie star solitudes to the depths of desperation and the power of hope. All these things and more just entwine into this captivating and compelling story written by Danielle Wong.

The story begins with Amelia Cole, known as Lia for short. She is one of the first women to be studying abroad at Oxford University during the 1920s. Finally free from her overbearing Brooklyn parents, it is here that she finds a welcome sense of independence in British college life and begins anew. As we progress through the story, Lia quickly falls for Scarlett Daniels, who is an aspiring actress and hard-headed protester. Scarlett then introduces her to an exciting gender-equality movement with high stakes and higher consequences. It is when their secret love clashes with political uprising that their relationship becomes one of the casualties. Many years later, Lia’s only memories of Scarlett are masked beneath the bright and flashy billboards that are advertising the actress’s new films. It is only when a mysterious letter surfaces that she is immediately thrust back into their unsettled romance. Lia’s travels span oceans and continents in her search for the lovely and elusive Scarlett, with only love, determination, and hope keeping her going. Swearing Off Stars spreads across time and place, with Lia and Scarlett’s story being one of desire, adventure, and ultimately devotion. Lia will stop at nothing to win Scarlett back, making us all swoon and root for her.

Miss Wong’s novel definitely succeeds in creating pleasant characters along with an undying commitment to women’s liberation in education, careers, and relationships (particularly to those bonds that are stigmatized). This story is a breath-taking romance, projecting the emotions of the times onto the reader in a way that is truly inspiring. It is also a very important look into the political atmosphere during this time period, giving readers insight they would not have had before. The disjointed and chaotic dynamics of Lia and Scarlett’s relationship are convincingly described, and the added pressures of a same-sex bond in a hostile time period resonate very well with modern readers. I did find that at times the flow and imagery were rather elementary (such as basic descriptions rather than vivid detail), but overall I was highly pleased by this novel. I would definitely recommend this novel.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 261 pages
Publisher She Writes Press
Publish Date 2017-Oct-03
ISBN 9781631522840
Bookshop.org Buy this Book
Issue August 2017
Category Historical Fiction


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