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By the Stars - Paperback

By the Stars - Paperback (18151-CDFT-O712)

4.71 stars, based on 7 reviews
When Cal finally gets a chance with Kate, the girl he’s loved since grade school, their easy friendship quickly blossoms into a meaningful romance. But the WWII draft calls him to the war in the Pacific, and with his small chance of return, Cal...
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Reviews 1-5 of 7

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This book totally surprised me. The fact that is was inspired by a true story made it that much more touching. Cal's story is interesting alone, his mission work, his family farm life, his fight to survive during World War II then you add the romantic aspect with his interest in Kate. Their story was amazing. It wasn't typical. Of course, you know they have to end up together from the first introduction but their journey wasn't easy.



I was intrigued by all the detail of Cal's time in the Philippines and serving in the war. Lindsay did a great job transporting the reader to that time and the emotions a soldier feels during war. The comradery between him and the other soldiers, reading the letters that him and Kate write back and forth make you feel like you are really there with Cal. However, I love the fact that Kate was always on his mind. From the beginning to the end, even when they weren't together.



This book had the feel of a Nicholas Sparks novel. All the feels. It is clean so any age could enjoy this book. Overall, it is a great coming of age story dealing with young romance, strength in faith, and overcoming hardships.

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To start, this book was a lot longer than I was expecting it to be—over 300 pages. Some sections probably could have been cut to make it a little bit shorter, but I never felt like it was lagging. I was quite impressed with the author for pulling that off with such a long book. Just know going into it that it's a longer read, and you should be fine. I didn't know that, and I still enjoyed it.



I want to add a little bit of caution for future readers. This is a romance, but it's also a war story. This book contains gruesome war scenes. The author didn't get too graphic or detailed in these chapters, but she stays true to what happens in war. Most adult readers should be fine with it, but use your discretion. Personally, I appreciate how the author handled these scenes. She didn't describe every little bit of what our protagonist, Cal, saw while he was in the Philippines, but she doesn't water down the horrors of war.



Kate and Cal are members of the LDS Church, and as such, this book contains references to their beliefs, values, and the Church itself. But it's not so saturated with obscure references that someone outside the Church would have a hard time understanding or getting through the book.



I really enjoyed the author's writing style, and I thought she did an excellent job of keeping the phrases and slang true to the era this story was written in. She also did well at weaving the romance and the war stories together into one novel.



I thought this was a fantastic book, well written and well researched. I give it a 5 out of 5.

A timeless story of love

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By the Stars

By Lindsay B. Ferguson



A once-in-a-lifetime love,

a raging war,

and a promise...



From the moment he first saw her Cal Morgan knew Kate Clayton was special. She was his ideal as he went through school. But Kate was beyond him, too beautiful, too popular, too perfect for a farm boy. But he had something to offer that no other man had offered Kate. He offered her friendship and in return he got to know the heart of the young woman who captured his.



Kate is determined to never fall in love, but there is something about Cal that calls to her, that threatens to break through the wall that she has erected around her heart. But friendship with Cal seems like an acceptable compromise. Time is short with World War II soon to take him into the dangers of the Pacific Theater.



When Kate's deep-rooted fears keep her from acknowledging that she and Cal have something special, he heads out with a broken heart. But Cal's absence makes Kate realize just how much she is giving up. And she is determined to let Cal know just how she feels before it is too late.



With the promise of Kate's love awaiting him Cal faces the horrors of war in the jungles of the Philippines. The struggle to survive and yet remain true to himself and God drives him. But his greatest strength lies in his hope of a future with Kate.



This is a love story that spans the years and faces the uncertainties of the future of a world at war. This is a story that rings true and will touch your heart. This is Cal Morgan's story -- the love story that made his life. A beautiful and touching story that one won't want to miss.



I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher Cedar Fort in exchange for my honest review

California

An Inspiration

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What a delightful romance, and a testament that good things come to even ordinary people. Cal was not considered among the popular crowd. He missed out on a lot of frivolous fun because of his long hours spent working on the family farm, a mundane but essential family business. That put him out of the path of the popular social group. Kate, a girl he meets and befriends when she is assigned a school locker next to his, soon goes on with her life as if Cal doesn’t exist. He admires from afar, but does not believe he can compete with the popular guys in Kate’s social circle.

I loved the way the characters were written. Cal was an ordinary guy, not flashy, but a young man who did his duty to both his church and his country. Even though he loses contact with Kate several times during his young life, he never completely forgets her. Occasional chance meetings throw them together often enough to keep his interest in her alive. Kate is a delightful young woman, but disappointed in her expectations. As much as she enjoys socializing and having fun, she decides to follow a path that excludes marriage and family—probably the only reason she was still single in the short period of time between Cal’s mission and his military service in World War Two.

I think my favorite part in the entire story was when he visits family at church after being gone three years. He is late for the meeting, and sees one seat open halfway down the chapel. Just as he reaches that spot and prepares to ask the person sitting next to it if it is available, the young woman turns to face him. It is Kate. At that moment, the lyrics of the opening hymn, “…Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,…” is sung and resonates through him. But, it didn’t with Kate. She agrees to go dancing with Cal, but not to enter into a romance with him.

Once again, after only a few weeks at home, Cal is inducted into the Army as an infantryman where he will eventually be sent to the Philippines, a duty that would lead to years of difficulty for him. He left expecting never to see Kate again. What happened while he was in training had me raising an eyebrow. The incident is based on a true story, but I’m pretty sure it could never happen in today’s world.

The romance is clean and proper. The story was uplifting. I could identify with Kate’s feelings and got a chuckle out of some of her antics. I also could not help but admire Cal as proof that quiet, dependable men who work hard and do their duty are sometimes the best heroes of all.


Heartwarming and Vivid

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I love what the author says at the end--everyone has a story to tell. My life seems boring in comparison to how amazing this story is. Based on a true story, By the Stars, is full of emotion, miracles, love, and hope.



Cal is just a typical young teen when Kate, a new girl, captures his attention. Completely out of his league, he's surprised when years later, he feels that she's the only girl for him. Following these characters through LDS missions, busy social lives, World War II, and more is extremely heartwarming and entertaining.



The characters reminded me, in small ways, of my grandparents and their experiences. They almost jumped off the pages with their vivid personalities. The dialogue is easily reminiscent of times gone by and I loved being immersed in this time period. I was completely drawn in and felt a part of the story, although there were places when I almost wished for more--more information, more connections, more story--but this shows that it's a great story, because I really didn't want it to end. I found myself in tears, marveling at the miraculous events, as well as with smiles, enjoying the relationships. This is a story that will stay with me for quite awhile. I hope Ms. Ferguson continues to write!



Content: no language; mild romance (kissing); mild religious elements (LDS beliefs and matter-of-fact statements, but not preachy); moderate violence, due to the nature of war, especially to get the point across. Clean for an older reader.



* I received a copy in exchange for an honest review *

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Reviews 1-5 of 7