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Touching Stars (Shenandoah Album #4)

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating Details ·  895 Ratings  ·  68 Reviews

Gayle Fortman has built a good life for herself and her three sons as an innkeeper in Virginia's Shenandoah Valley. She has even maintained a cordial relationship with her ex, charismatic broadcast journalist Eric Fortman, covering with the boys for his absences and broken promises. Luckily Travis Allen, her closest neighbor, has been a loving surrogate father to the boys
Mass Market Paperback, 564 pages
Published (first published July 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30)
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This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ex-husband Eric comes back to the inn for rehabilition. He tries to reconcile with his three sons. A few characters are from her previous shenandoah album books. I did not like this book as well as the earlier ones.
The summary left out quite a bit of info. I didn't really care for the historical part. I also felt let down by the ending.
Jul 18, 2012 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Why is it that I remember the prior books in this series to have a religious angle to them? I kept waiting for that slant to appear and if it had, I completely missed it.

Gayle Fortman has been raising her sons alone for the last twelve or so years since her charming husband Eric chose his career as a broadcast journalist over being a father and husband. Now returned home after a near death experience in Afghanistan, Eric is trying to rebuild his life and a relationship with his boys.

When Gayle d
Feb 16, 2017 Lisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This last (?) entry in Richards' Shenandoah Album series is well done, although I didn't enjoy it as much as the first books--but it is still well worth the read. I hope Richards writes more in this series. Issues of divorce, relationships between ex-spouses, single parenting, basic personality differences, parent-child relationships, and teen sexuality, with a side story of a Civil War mystery (with its own parent-child relationships issues), are all presented in the context of an entertaining ...more
Elizabeth Meadows
Emilie Richards has done a great job of combining family drama, action, historical fiction and facts, human rights issues and romance all into the books of this series. So far the 3rd book was my favorite, but this 4th book was really good and makes me want to continue to read more books by this author.
Kingston Library
This book was outstanding. I like all of her books, but this is probably my favorite.
She really brings the characters to life and I felt like I was almost part of the story.
She has several series including a humorous one titled Beware of False Prophets and
it is clever and funny.
Mar 17, 2010 Rossy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fiction with very realistic outcomes
Recommended to Rossy by: series continuation
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sharon Forbes
Mar 08, 2016 Sharon Forbes rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the fourth book in the Shenandoah Album series by Ms. Richards, and I have to say, it veered quite a bit from the other three books that I have already read. That being said, it was still a very enjoyable book, just not nearly as much focus on the quilts and quilting as there has been. Touching Stars tells the story of Gayle and Eric Fortman, who have already been divorced for twelve years. Eric is coming to stay for the summer at Gayle's inn, called Daughter Of The Stars, as he recoups ...more
Aug 11, 2012 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: emilie-richards
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 26, 2009 Kathryn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have just finished this and very much enjoyed it. Gives so much character detail and really delves into relationships. The relationship of Eric and Gayle - divorced. The relationhip of each of them with their three sons. This book would probably fit into the genre of women's fiction, Gayle eventually grows in herself as a woman by the time the book ends. Yet this is about Eric too. And then there is Travis. These books have hooked me in, I like women's fiction so long as its not too heavy!! I ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This is the 4th book in the Shenandoah Album series. I enjoyed the story, although not as much as the third book. This one focuses on Gayle, owner of the Daughter of the Stars Inn that we met briefly in the earlier books. Her ex-husband is staying with her and her 3 boys while recovering from a traumatic experience in the Middle East. The complex relationships between them are interplayed with a story about an old cabin on the property that is being excavated for an archeology camp. That family ...more
Jan 21, 2011 Rayni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: history buffs
Recommended to Rayni by: series
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 15, 2009 DeLyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up from the recently returned table with no real expectations for the author or storyline. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and it's characters. I somehow felt very connected to the main character, a single mother with three sons, as she runs her own bed and breakfast, raises her boys, stays involved in her community and church, and is organized to the hilt! It was a good combination of romance/love mixed with the complicated problems that come from divorce and parents that realize ( ...more
Nov 12, 2012 Joanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gayle and her three sons worked hard together to keep the "Inn" going after the divorce years ago. Travis, the widower neighbor, was a great friend to all and a male role model for the boys until the "X" came back into the picture after twelve years! Gayle did want him to be part of their sons life but not hers. This was a great read that had past, present and future all in the story. It had forgiveness, patience, and love also. This book goes to show you that things do work out in the end!
Nov 18, 2012 Darlene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: southern, historic, family, men
I really enjoyed "Touching Stars" by Emilie Richards.Her Shenandoah Album Series to me are very warm and tug at my roots though this one was different as it was basically from a man's point of view of sons and fathers. I also enjoyed the historical side of this book fictional as it may be a real thought provoker. A really good story, though I would have ended it differently, but that's why I'm a reader and not a writer.
Ann Olson
Sep 20, 2013 Ann Olson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Story kept me interested, and I love in this series how there is alway sub plot looking at the history of the people/Valley. My biggest issue here was Gayle's thoughts about her son's girlfriend and how stereotypically the girl was written to be- airheaded, trying to "trap" her boyfriend, saying like in every sentence, etc. Overall though, liked hearing about the inn, and Dillon was one of my favorites. Also enjoy reading about Cissy and Reese.
Sep 13, 2009 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second book by Mrs. Richards that I have read and I will definitely read more.

Her books center around quilting and the Shenandoah Valley in VA. While I'm not "into" quilting, I have been to the SV and it is absolutely beautiful. Though I don't quilt, I know many other women who do.

Another aspect of her books that I enjoy are that there is no cursing, sex or violence in them which are important to me.
This novel was my least favorite in the series so far. I had to read something light after Gone Girl! It was just ok, not sure I loved the ending. I also got tired of reading it about half way through. I didn't read any of the 1865 flashbacks and just kind of skim read to find out how it ended. One thing I do like about these books are is the setting. I really wish want to visit Shenandoah Valley someday!
Aug 02, 2008 Rhonda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2008
I liked this. A divorced mother of three boys offers her ex-husband a place in her home while he recuperates from being held hostage in Aphganistan, thinking this will give him a chance to bond with the sons he never really had time for before....a lot of relationships to work out, things to discover. Interesting.
Nancy O'Donnell
Aug 15, 2008 Nancy O'Donnell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mostly women
Recommended to Nancy by: a library patron
People can love each other, but still have to make difficult choices about staying together. This is the case because the main characters have lives they want to persue. The wife wants to raise her family in one town, but the husband is a journalist who wants to follow is dreams. Their three sons resent that he wasn't there for them. Can he come home to them after being away for sixteen years?
Jul 14, 2010 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great story about the value of realizing we cannot always be married to someone we love, it's okay to be angry about a divorce,but it's important still to be a parent to the children who love us unconditionally

The Shanandoah Album stories are not always my favorite reading, but I do enjoy the insights Richards provide in a small community life
Aug 29, 2008 Ruth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this third book in the series. A woman who has been divorced for years allows her ex to recover from a serious injury in her home/bed & breakfast. Her sons are getting older and need to renew thier relationship with their dad. A middle-aged woman takes stock of her life and decides how she wants to spend the rest of it.
Jun 24, 2014 Leslie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first 1/2 of the book was just alright but then it picked up and I really enjoyed the second 1/2. I am not sure if it was the addition of the story within the story that took place in Civil War times, but it got much better for me. I really liked how the characters interacted and grew as the story went on. Very touching and moving at the end.
Sep 21, 2012 Barb rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read several Emilie Richards books. I enjoy them. This wasn't one of my favorites of her books, but it was enjoyable (and predictible) nonetheless. The books of hers that I would highly recommend are Iron Lace and Rising Tides (in that order).
Oct 03, 2014 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked the main story of Gayle and Eric but the secondary historical story I found to be boring and unnecessary. It bogged the whole book down and dragged the story out. I just started skipping those chapters and it didn't interfere with the main story I was interested in.
Gloria Bernal
I expected to like this more, but after reading several of her other books, i found this fell short in comparison. After 150 pages I just gave it up and read the ending. I just couldn't connect with the characters as I have in her other books.
Aug 04, 2012 Kirstie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Usually it takes me two days to read a book this size, but I thought I would never finish. It's an ok story, but just couldn't get into it so I was easily distracted and slow to pick it back up when I had the chance.
Oct 27, 2009 Terry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another of my favorites in the series and totally unlike the stories that precede it since the principal character does not quilt but lives among those who do. Avoids easy resolutions of marital and human conflicts.
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Thank you 1 9 Feb 27, 2009 06:59AM  
  • The Quilter's Legacy (Elm Creek Quilts, #5)
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I'm the author of seventy-something novels, including romance, women's fiction and mystery. When We Were Sisters debuted in June 2016, a stand alone novel about two foster sisters traveling back into their past together. I loved writing it and love the cover my publisher chose.

I'm also excited about my recent series, Goddesses Anonymous, which started with One Mountain Away and was followed by So
More about Emilie Richards...

Other Books in the Series

Shenandoah Album (5 books)
  • Wedding Ring (Shenandoah Album)
  • Endless Chain (Shenandoah Album)
  • Lover's Knot
  • Sister's Choice

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