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Cage of Stars

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The author of The Deep End of the Ocean delivers a compelling, emotionally charged tale of tragedy, revenge, and redemption, set in a close-knit Mormon community, whose peace is shattered by two brutal murders.

289 pages, Hardcover

First published May 1, 2006

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About the author

Jacquelyn Mitchard

59 books1,023 followers
Jacquelyn Mitchard’s first novel, The Deep End of the Ocean, was named by USA Today as one of the ten most influential books of the past 25 years – second only to the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (but second by a long shot, it must be said.)

The Deep End of the Ocean was chosen as the first novel in the book club made famous by the TV host Oprah Winfrey, and transformed into a feature film produced by and starring Michelle Pfeiffer.

All of Mitchard’s novels have been greater or lesser bestsellers – and include The Most Wanted, A Theory of Relativity, Twelve Times Blessed, The Breakdown Lane and Cage of Stars. Critics have praised them for their authentic humanity and skilful command of story. Readers identify because they see reflected, in her characters – however extreme their circumstances – emotions they already understand.

Mitchard’s first story of adventure and her eighth novel of realistic contemporary fiction is Still Summer (August, 2007). In the same month, the paperback version of her most critically acclaimed novel, Cage of Stars (August 2007), appears from Warner Books.

Mitchard also has embarked on four novels for young adults.

The first, Now You See Her, from HarperTeen, is the story of a pampered, driven young actress who fakes her own abduction.

Next spring, also from HarperTeen, All We Know of Heaven will tell the story of lifetime best friends Bridget and Maureen, who are just sixteen when a fatal crash on an icy road and a poignant case of mistaken identity divide their small Minnesota town forever.

Now You See Her also is the first novel made “visible,” in a short series of beginning episodes on the Internet site YouTube, where actress Lauren Collins Peterson appears in several vlogs (or video blogs) as the fictional Hope Shay.

In summer, 2008, The Midnight Twins, first in a trilogy of teen mysteries about identical twin sisters born on New Year’s Eve – one a minute before and a minute after midnight – appears. Meredith and Mallory Brynn learn on the night they turn thirteen that their psychic abilities will force them to intervene in dire events, although one twin can see only the future and one can see only the past.

Meanwhile, Mitchard is completing her next adult novel and continues as a contributing editor for the Disney parenting magazine Wondertime, as well writing pieces for More, Parade and Real Simple, among other magazines. Her syndicated column for Tribune Media appears in newspapers around the nation.

At the local coffee shop, Mitchard is best-known as the mother of Rob, Dan, Marty, Francie, Mia, Will and Atticus – and she can repeat those names in sequence in the space of two seconds – the wife of handsome Chris Brent and the best pal of the extremely photogenic mutt, Hobbes.

They divide their time between a big Italianate house built by Mitchard’s husband on Story Hill in south central Wisconsin and a villa on the Amalfi Coast (well, one can dream!)

Her favorite color is periwinkle blue; her favorite holiday is Halloween; her favorite flower is freesia; her favorite word is "smite," and her second favorite is "Massachusetts"; her lucky number is 119 (anyone who can guess where that comes from wins a pair of startlingly cool earrings or a University of Wisconsin ball cap). Her favorite place on earth is Cape Cod – where, very unlike the writer Isak Dinesen in Nairobi – she owned a home for ten years, and does believe the shadows in the driveway remember her shape.

Her pet peeves are PhDs who cannot and will not learn the difference between “lie” and “lay” and family signs pluralized with apostrophes.

She still hopes that Dick Wolf can find it in his heart to let her appear on just ONE episode of any incarnation of ‘Law and Order,’ as has everyone else in America. She still is willing to play the role of a murder victim – except one found by earth-moving equipment in a landfill – though she wou

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5 stars
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Displaying 1 - 30 of 713 reviews
Profile Image for  ⊱Sonja•●❤️.
1,896 reviews370 followers
April 9, 2021
Veronica Swan ist 12 Jahre alt, als ihre kleinen Schwestern Rebecca und Ruth ermordet werden. Der Täter wird schnell gefasst. Er leidet an Schizophrenie und kommt daher nicht ins Gefängnis, sondern in eine Anstalt. Nach gut vier Jahren wird er als genesen entlassen. Während Veronicas Eltern das Urteil hinnehmen und es sogar schaffen, dem Täter zu vergeben, kann Veronica einfach an nichts anderes als Rache denken. Als sie älter ist, zieht sie in seine Nähe und schleicht sich als Kindermädchen bei ihm ein, denn er hat inzwischen selbst eine kleine Tochter bekommen....
Das Buch hat mich sehr beeindruckt. Man kann den Schmerz, die Wut und die Trauer regelrecht aus den Seiten herauslesen. Das ist kein Buch, das man schnell nebenbei lesen kann. Es erfordert die ganze Aufmerksamkeit seines Lesers. Nebenbei erfährt man noch einiges über das Leben der Mormonen, ihre Regeln und Lebensweisen. Insgesamt hat mir dieses Buch sehr gefallen, und ich kann es auf jeden Fall weiterempfehlen!
Profile Image for Dixie Diamond.
462 reviews
March 21, 2008
Unrealistic, repetitive, and very uneven. The build-up takes forever and then the climax and dénoumént pass in a flash, and none of it leaves much of an impact. The plot, characters, and details are not at all believable. I guess it might make for a nice, frothy, feel-good read if you like that kind of thing, but it's a literary lightweight.

I did feel a little browbeaten by the repeated references to Mormonism, although maybe not as much as some people. I'm a Quaker; people have all sorts of weird ideas about us, too. Oh, well. I got the feeling that the author was very anxious to feel unique, special, and put-upon because of her religion, which was more tiresome than the Mormonism specifically.
Profile Image for Sara.
Author 1 book447 followers
January 22, 2019
I know what Mitchard was trying to achieve with this book. We were supposed to find ourselves questioning the nature of forgiveness and revenge; ponder the question of how much responsibility a mentally deranged person has for their actions; wrestle with what society owes to the victims of crime in such a circumstance. Unfortunately, the story just did not gel for me.

The story is told from the point of view of Veronica Swan, a girl who at the age of fourteen witnesses the murder of her two younger sisters. Reactions to this tragedy were all over the place, and none of them felt quite right to me. We are told up front that she has done something in retaliation, but when we finally get to the events themselves, they do not seem even remotely possible to me. Then, finally, what color would you like your bow? Because this baby is getting a ribbon tied on top.

I seem to be on a roll with finding bad works by writers I have previously enjoyed. Think it could be me? Nah.
Profile Image for Carol Brill.
Author 3 books154 followers
August 29, 2014
A beautifully written story of grief and healing with finely wrought, sympathetic characters. I could not stop turning pages.
Profile Image for WildBookBosomed.
240 reviews5 followers
February 17, 2009
This book has been sitting on my shelf for some time. I received this book as a gift, and I didn't read it right away because the story summary didn't grab my attention.

However, once I started reading, I was taken with the story. A twelve year old girl witnesses the murders of her two younger sisters while she is babysitting them. In my opinion, I felt the book moved at exactly the right pace. I thought the descriptions and images of the grief were pretty accurate. There were many times throughout the book I thought to myself, "That is so true"...or simply.."That's a good point". It was very interesting the woven threads of religion throughout the story. I knew some aspects of the Mormon religion; however, it was interesting to read more about it. I do know that this was a book of fiction, and I am sure there were some things that were exaggerated, but I felt that for the most part, it remained true to the teachings- even if that thread was there to put a twist into the story.

I thought it was a bold choice for the author to write about mental illness. Although, I cannot imagine being able to live through a sibling's tragic death, let alone learn to forgive the killer, such as the parents did in this book- I did respect this book more for discussing the topic of mental illness. I thought that it was very brave for the author to have this man who was suppose to be the enemy, become a different character once he was medicated. I thought it was almost a sincere move to show how he developed in the Epilogue of the story. I guess I appreciated the fact that the author developed a story that the reader could see both sides of the tragedy. I sympathized with Scott's character that he didn't even remember being at the scene- I thought that was very realistic- and although it didn't take away from the horrific act that was done--- I thought that the judge handled it very well when he investigated the illness. All though the reader may start to understand the mental illness; the author was able to still remain true to the Ronnie's feelings of revenge and hurt.

I really liked the ending of the book, because it was not what I expected. I really did believe that some how Ronnie would believe that the only way she could heal- was if she reached some sort of closure with the killer (which would had been anything to do with his demise)- who could blame her for having those feelings, or having to investigate it further. The book made me think about choices, faith, reaching out to others, mental illness, the justice system, grief, forgiveness- The outcome could have gone in so many different directions-- it was a good read just for that idea alone.
Profile Image for Ryan.
431 reviews
March 29, 2008
So I only read this book b/c it was available at our public library on Audio CD. And it was about Mormons. Well, the protagonist is Mormon, and it's fairly obvious that, unlike Jack Weyland books, this one is not intended for an LDS audience, b/c Jacquelyn Mitchard goes to great lengths to explain the Mormon church.

And she does an okay job, though there are some funny things that she gets wrong:
(1) There is a temple in Cedar City.
(2) The home teachers are a married couple.
(3) When the temple-married parents have a new baby, they go to the temple to seal their new child to their family.
(4) The dad tells his 12 year-old daughter that he wants her to baptize her little sisters.
(5) The parents offer to pay for college for their daughter if she waits until after her mission.
(6) Another girl plans to go on a mission after her freshman year in college.
(7) The dad takes of work on "holy days."
(8) The Mormon community sings Amazing Grace.

These are the ones that don't spoil the plot. There are more.

All in all I liked this book b/c it deals with the psychosis of a young girl who survives the horribly traumatic murder of her two younger sisters. Unlike Speak, which is similar in scope, this book has a functioning family, and despite the parents involvement and love, it still takes Roni several years and mistakes of her own to move on with her life and be healed.

Also, this book made me fear having teenagers in the house. I thought I'd gotten over that.
Profile Image for Alexandra.
156 reviews41 followers
August 11, 2008
I bought this book completely unaware it had anything to do with my faith and fell pray to judging a book by its cover (we've all done it) but it looks like I picked a good one. When I read the first page I almost shut it and took it back to the bookstore but I'm happy I gave it a chance and kept reading. This is not an Anti-mormon book and the author surprised me by actually writing a moving story about an lds girl that is actually almost realistic. She took time to understand the lds faith and the result is a book that is emmotional moving and in my opinion respectful of our beliefs. She got a few facts off but nothing thats not forgivable. This book really surprised me by how good it turned out it be and I found myself becoming so invested in the emotions of the characters and what they went through. It got me thinking about my loved ones and how I would handle having any of them murdered especially my siblings. i found myself getting so emmotional reading this book. For not being a member of the church the author sure tapped into the the heart of our belief in the reality of an eternal family and the love that is cultivated in a good lds home. A love that is really all encompassing.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
128 reviews6 followers
August 13, 2016
I think the author did a fantastic job with the story line. She handles a horrifying subject without gratuitous gore or sensationalism. She does a magnificent job showing emotional aftermath of a horrible crime. You really believe you are in the mind of the main character. That said there was one big problem that seriously detracted from my enjoyment of and wholesale immersion in the book.

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Days Saints (Mormons). I hardly recognized my religion in this book, it felt like I was reading about some fundamentalist cult (or maybe that is what she thinks about Mormons?). She would have done well to have an active member, someone who really did grow up LDS review her manuscripts to correct the multiple theological, cultural and lifestyle errors she makes. The conversations between the Mormon characters about theology and culture are so awkward and "off" it took my thoughts out of the story. It is clear that the author didn't really understand the religion and culture she was writing about. The only time she even mentioned the name of Jesus is at the very end of the book, on Christmas. Real Mormons talk about Jesus a whole lot. I could go on and list all the other errors but...I won't bore you. She isn't unkind to my religion, just way off base.

I took something very valuable away from this reading. I will never again read a book about a culture or religion I am not familiar with and take everything at face value. Before I accept the viewpoint of one who is writing about a culture or religion they are not part of, I will cross reference with writings by those who are part of that group.
Profile Image for Esthy.
29 reviews
August 12, 2021
I got this at a used bookstore for 25 cents, desperate for some reading entertainment and remembering years ago that Mitchard's Deep End of the Ocean held me entranced from start to finish. Cage of Stars is different. Contrary to some reviews here, I found the plot quite compelling- a young Mormon girl tries to come to terms with the brutal murder of her two little sisters by a madman who later gets off nearly scot-free (the killers name is in fact Scott). She is conflicted about the Christian doctrine her parents have subscribed to seeming to compel her to forgive, so she rebels, seeking her own path to resolution and peace. The conclusion is surprising and uplifting. I would say the style and content was actually appropriate for YA reading, but oddly being a book snob, this still didn't put me off. I enjoyed it nonetheless and finished in a few sittings. Mitchard's writing is surprisingly admirable given its simplicity here. I would describe it as elegiac, at times like stepping into a lovely modern still life.
Profile Image for Bonnie.
863 reviews48 followers
March 4, 2017
Twelve-year-old Veronica Swan idyllic life in a clos-knit Mormon community is shattered when her two younger sisters, Becky and Ruthie, are violently murdered in a shed behind the house. The mother is pregnant with another child and is in total denial. Vonnie takes o n the role of caregiver for the baby when he is born. Even though the man has been captured who killed the girls, Vonnie can not forgive him as their religion teaches. She is terrified and obsesses about making sure the house is secure and checks all the locks incessantly. Prior to the murder, no one in the community even locked their doors. She has a best friend that she shares her feelings with about her anger. The author describes the police arriving and the yellow crime tape being placed around the murder scene. Years later, she sets out alone to avenge her sisters' death, dropping her identity and severing ties in the process. As she closes in on Early, the murderer, she learns the true meaning of sin and compassion. She discovers that Early had a mental illness called Schizophrenia and was being treated. When the murder case went to trial, the judge decided that Early should be placed in a treatment center and eventually after he was cured, he could be released back into society. Vonnie cannot accept this happening and leaves to study to become a doctor. The rest of the story reveals her life after the murders and her final acceptance of her having to let go of the anger. It is a good story and the reader learns about the Mormon religion.
Profile Image for Ginger.
921 reviews
September 28, 2020
This deserves all the stars and then some. Fast paced, well written; couldn’t turn the pages or read fast enough.

This is told from the POV of Ronnie (Veronica), who is 12 years old when they story starts. While babysitting her 2 younger sisters, they are brutally murdered. We follow Ronnie from the time the tragedy takes place until about 7 years later.

Although the book had me crying ugly tears at times, and basically on an emotional roller coaster, I felt the ending was quite satisfying.

My only regret is that I had this on my TBR for years before I finally read it.

Profile Image for Anita.
1,740 reviews35 followers
December 9, 2008
I've gone back and forth between 4 and 5 stars on this book. It really was a good read. I enjoyed it immensely. It delves into the repercussions of faith, repentance and redemption of individuals and families after a tragedy. A twelve year old witnesses the murders of her two younger sisters and lives with the fallout with a plan of revenge. An interesting point is that this family is Mormon. Mitchard does a great job of portraying a normal Mormon family and does a good job of describing the faith (a few minor quibbles that members will pick up on, but a very fair treatment) and the challenges without being sensational, unreasonably saintly, or making us seem weirder than we are. Some wrote that this was a liberal Mormon family' I just found that they weren't stereotyped and I know many that fit her profile. It's nice to find us not just a western version of Amish. How wonderful to see a good book with characters that happen to be Mormon. I just wish we could have a great Mormon writer come along who could do the same thing, write about real people with universal problems (we all have them) instead of falling into the stereotypical, faith-promoting, Harlequin rut. Okay I've convinced myself, five stars thanks to my Mormon bias.
Profile Image for Trent Mikesell.
1,041 reviews10 followers
December 17, 2008
I read all the time (and don't even put a portion of the books I read on here), but mostly it's silly YA books that are fast paced and short. That's often my preferred kind of book because I can read it quickly and just enjoy it. However, every so often I like to read something more serious and thought-provoking. My wife brought this book home from a book fair at her school. What attracted me to it was that it is about an LDS family, but it is not written by an LDS author. It is about a girl whose sisters are killed and the journey she must undergo to forgive their killer.

The book is quite profound and I enjoyed it immensely. With that said, I will say that the author has no ear for real human dialogue and she also sometimes will make events happen without clearly explaining them or leading up to them. That was confusing at times. However, I enjoyed it because of the lessons it teaches about forgiveness and how each of us has may have to take a different path to find redemption and to be willing to forgive others. I don’t want to say anymore because I don’t want to give away the book, but if you want to read something different and touching, I recommend it.
Profile Image for Vannessa Anderson.
Author 1 book165 followers
November 9, 2008
Twelve-year-old Ronnie Swan’s life, as she knew it, came to an end when her two younger sisters were brutally murdered by deranged killer Scott Early. Instead of the judge sentencing him to life in prison, he sentences Early to three years letting psychiatrists and psychologists learn from Early’s schizophrenia. Though Ronnie’s parents come to forgive Early, Ronnie doesn’t. She remains in her own prison plotting revenge. Cage of Stars is an excellent read on learning to let go and how to forgive. Cage of Stars was a challenging read because I kept one foot in forgiving and the other foot in not forgiving because Early, after all, had killed two innocent children but as I became engrossed in the story, I came to understand why Ronnie’s parents forgave Early and the importance of forgiving.
Profile Image for Elizabeth.
142 reviews
July 30, 2015
Absolutely despised this book. I wouldn't give it any stars if I could. There wasn't really a plot line, it was all just a byline for an aggressive Mormon agenda. Instead of creating a story, all the author did was ramble on about the Mormon faith. When she was discussing the murderer, she'd even add (this is what the Mormons do) in paratheses, just like that, after a sentence about A MURDERER.
I felt like I Was wading through a muddy, disgusting river with lots of bugs, and it was all uphill.
Her writing style wasn't even worth the effort. She rambled on about this and that and nothing really connected. The timeline was all screwed-up; she had the main character talking about when she was married this happened when, in the paragraph before, she was still thirteen.
Will never read this author again...so, so disappointed.
351 reviews2 followers
August 24, 2016
While playing hide and seek with her two younger sisters,Veronica Swan, who is twelve years old, finds their bodies just after they have been brutally murdered. The killer, Scott Early, is sitting nearby, covered in blood and crying, not believing what he has done. The family are Mormans and forgiveness is a huge part of their religion. Over the course of several years, Veronica's parents, come to terms with the horrific event, but Veronica carries the tragedy with her. We watch as Veronica seeks to get revenge, believing this is the only option that she and her family have.
Once again, Jacquelyn Mitchard has given us a well written novel that will keep your interest until the end. My book club will be discussing this book at our next meet up and I look forward to hearing everyone's thoughts.
Profile Image for Donna.
560 reviews10 followers
February 22, 2008
I enjoyed this book. The main characters in it are Mormon, it's set in a small southern Utah town, and it's written by a non-Mormon author, so that was interesting. She got a lot of things about LDS beliefs right, though not everything. The story itself starts out being kind of tough to read with a terribly sad crime committed, and the ensuing tale is about the main character's quest for either revenge or forgiveness (she really wants revenge). So even though it was hard to read at first, it got much easier and had a great ending. I liked the main character a lot; she was likable and very easy to identify with.
Profile Image for Barbara H.
680 reviews
September 10, 2015
Although I have seen many glowing reviews of this book, I decided not to finish reading it. It clearly was not for me. There was too much emphasis on religion, especially the Latter Day Saints, which seemed to dominate much of the narration. I am certainly not an expert on this religion, but I think there were several inaccuracies. I also determined that this book was written with Young Adults (or younger) in mind because the tone of the narrator seemed to assume that the reader was fairly uninformed about many features of life.
35 reviews
September 9, 2010
The overall story of this book was pretty good, but I couldn't get over the mistakes the author made in portraying "Mormon" lives. I think that it wouldn't have been too much to ask to have an actual LDS person read the book (before it was published)and correct any mistakes. However, perhaps "Utah mormons" do act like that. There were not any huge mistakes that I saw, just tons of little ones that made the story not ring true to me.
Profile Image for Evelyn.
569 reviews20 followers
September 27, 2020
I first read this book over ten years ago in my book club but did not recall anything about the story on this re-read.
Ultimately this story is about forgiveness.
There were several parts that I felt were unbelievable, and the foreshadowing sprinkled throughout seemed to promise a much bigger climax than it actually was, which was oddly disappointing.
247 reviews1 follower
May 4, 2017
Told in the first person by Veronica (Ronnie) Swan. When she was 12, her two sisters were murdered by a madman in the grips of a schizophrenic episode. Ronnie and her family have to cope with the aftermath. She has panic attacks and a deep fear of losing anyone else she loves. The madman is sent to a psychiatric hospital where he is treated and released after a few years. Ronnie cannot accept that he is free, cannot forgive him, and plots revenge on him and his family. Good story
Profile Image for Rosina Lippi.
Author 5 books582 followers
January 15, 2010
There's a fiction subgenre that doesn't really have a name. The kind of novel I'm talking about isn't about romance or romantic love in the first line, though that may be one of the subplots. These are novels that examine the way families work, or fail to work, in the face of crisis. And I mean crisis in the bigger sense of the word. Divorce would be the least of the problems in this kind of book. We're talking accidental deaths, fatal illness, rape, murder, permanent disability, kidnapping, felony arrests. That is, there's something going on beyond the usual.

Some of the authors who are active in this genre (which is sometimes called domestic drama, a term I dislike because it feels dismissive) are Jacquelyn Mitchard (The Deep End of the Ocean, A Theory of Relativity), Jodi Picoult (My Sister's Keeper, Vanishing Acts), Judith Guest (Ordinary People), Elizabeth Berg (Range of Motion,We Are All Welcome Here), and Elizabeth Strout (Abide with Me).

Somehow this subgenre -- though it is written primarily (or maybe even exclusively) by women -- has mostly been spared trivialization or undue snark from the lit-criterati. A few of these novels have received both high critical praise and popular success. Ordinary People is the best example of that, and it is also the novel that sets the standard for this genre.

Mitchard is best known for The Deep End of the Ocean, which was an early Oprah pick. It was her first novel, and it catapulted her into the best seller list. Publisher's Weekly said: "One of the most remarkable things about this rich, moving and altogether stunning first novel is Mitchard's assured command of narrative structure and stylistic resources. Her story about a child's kidnapping and its enduring effects upon his parents, siblings and extended family is a blockbuster read."

I've read most but not all of Mitchard's novels since her first. The second one, The Most Wanted, probably made the biggest impression on me. Publisher's Weekly wasn't so happy with it: "Despite portentous foreshadowing, Mitchard second novel never achieves the dramatic momentum and the emotional immediacy of her acclaimed fiction debut, The Deep End of the Ocean. But her depiction of two female protagonists is so large-hearted and wise that readers undoubtedly will be engrossed in their story."

Side note: Beware the review -- especially the PW review-- that starts with the word despite. I speak from personal experience here.

I read Mitchard's newest about two weeks ago, and I've been thinking about it ever since. Of course that's a good thing, a story that stays with you. But in this case there was something off, and I couldn't put my finger on it. One thing that jumped out at me was how much her style has changed, or maybe just her approach to this story is a departure.

Cage of Stars is about a small, healthy, close knit Mormon family that lives in a tiny rural community where people generally get along and take care of each other. In the course of the novel you learn a good amount about the LD Saints, all provided in a matter of fact way. You get this information through the main character, Veronica Swan (Ronnie to family and friends), who is twelve years old when the novel opens with a very powerful image: "At the moment when Scott Early killed Becky and Ruthie, I was hiding in the shed."

At its heart, this is a story not so much about the murder of two little girls as it is about the way violence is embedded into the heart of their twelve year old sister. Scott Early, who commits this crime, does so in the grip of a psychotic break. It's his first, and with it, his history as a good guy, a man loyal to family and scrupulously honest, is null and void. He is not convicted of the double murder of the Swan girls, but is sent off to a hospital for the criminally insane for treatment.

Ronnie spends the rest of her adolescence nurturing her anger, while her parents work to overcome their despondency and sorrow after the little sisters are buried. Eventually they meet with Scott Early in the hospital and they forgive him. Which only makes Ronnie more determined to extract justice.

Most of the novel deals with how she does that. Her plan, which is elaborate and well thought out, eventually takes her to California where she inserts herself into the lives of the now released, medicated and stable Scott Early, his wife and infant daughter. This sounds like a retelling of The Babysitter, no? But it's more complex than that, and we're in Ronnie's head for the whole time, watching her thoughts as they evolve.

And here's the cause of my discomfort: This is another case where I'm unhappy about a first person teenage narrator. And I freely admit that this is a matter of my own quirk, my need for a broader narrative scope and a dislike of the restrictions Mitchard puts on her readers by keeping them in Ronnie's head.

This is a compelling story, well told. It's not her absolute best, but it does add an interesting dimension to Mitchard's body of work.
Profile Image for Karen.
151 reviews3 followers
July 14, 2017
It took me a long time to get into this book. Half the book in fact! I seriously considered giving up but thankfully I didn't.
The story took a distinct turn in the middle and increased pace dramatically. It was almost as if a different writer had taken over!
Not at all a thriller as I was expecting, but in the end a good read.
Profile Image for madeline.
89 reviews
July 30, 2020
A good story, but the style of writing was sometimes hard to follow. I found myself rereading several parts.
Profile Image for Michele.
200 reviews73 followers
September 18, 2021
This was a pretty uneventful book, although I did think the ending would be more exciting than it was. But it did make me think a lot, especially about life.
Profile Image for Monica.
205 reviews
September 2, 2019
3.5 stars. This was a real page-turner, and I enjoyed the fast pace. The perfect weekend read. Parts of it weren’t terribly believable but overall I enjoyed it.
1 review
May 25, 2012
Cage of Stars by Jacquelyn Mitchard was an average book. I chose to read this book because my English Comp. instructor assigned it to me and it seemed like a good book. The book takes place in a small close-knit community in Utah. Veronica, the main character, lives with her family in the country. Veronica is a dynamic character.She is very caring and she always helps her family. However, Veronica is faced with the hardship of her two sisters being murdered.

Her incandescent attitude has a positive effect on everyone. When she finds out that her two sisters have been murdered, her life becomes an obscure place. The amount of anxiety seems to be copious and she feels like everyone is scrutinizing her. She decides that the only way to get over her hardship is to not forget and get even. Throughout the book she learns more about growing up and the hardship that her sisters' killer faces. The theme of this book is a great one. The theme focuses on the grieving process and the process of forgiving someone. I feel like everyone is faced with the problem in their life and it is great to read about it. However, when she is faced with a life-threatening situation, will she learn to forgive?

In conclusion, I really liked this book, but it took too long to get into it. I felt like there were some pages that I couldn't even focus on. However, when the book was getting towards the end, I very much enjoyed it. Any reader that is interested in mystery, crime, and death would like to read this book. However, if you have a short attention span, this probably is not the book for you.

Profile Image for Jeana.
Author 2 books148 followers
October 1, 2008
This book is written by a woman who is clearly NOT Mormon about a little girl who is. And I have to admit that this was part of the intrigue for me. And although I could tell that Mitchard was trying to be delicate and sensitive and kind about the religion, she was off on quite a few things. Some more obvious than others: Some were just saying things in a way that LDS people wouldn't. For example, she had two thirteen year old girls calling each other "sister" which would never happen. There were other things like the dad having to go to the temple to "seal" their new baby to them or wishing that Ronnie could have baptized her sisters. Anyway, although that was jarring, the story was still good.

I was emotionally involved with Ronnie all through this book. From the time that she sees her sisters murdered until the end, when she gets to live happily ever after in her forgiveness. I have to admit that I felt a little betrayed in what the author gave us "glimpses" of the future that a reader would clearly guess that Ronnie murders her sisters' killer and that she does NOT end up with Miko. But it turns out just that.

I like that Ronnie is a character who has to live to forgive in her own way, and not in a forced way that her parents tried to shove on her. This story was truly a journey of her going through complete shock, to grief, to anger, to finding her own peace.

In my opinion, the ending wrapped itself up a little too nicely, but that's just me and I don't particularly like happy endings.

This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Jayci.
99 reviews4 followers
March 2, 2009
It is hard to determine how I really felt about this book. I wanted to keep reading, but when I was finished felt unsatisfied. Cage of Stars is the story of a young Mormon girl, Veronica, who lives in a small town outside of Cedar City. After finding her little sisters brutally murdered, Veronicas world is turned upside down. Haunted by images of her sisters and their murderer leaves Veronica stuggling to resume her old life. Even more distressing, the girls parents choose to forgive the attacker. Veronica will set out to heal her wounds her own way as she sheds her identity and leaves her family behind. A close look at what compassion and forgivness means.

Although the author is not a member of the church, she was very insightful and it was clear that she had done a lot of research about the gospel and it's principles. I was impressed with how accurate Mitchard was and greatful that she was not mocking or condescending to our beliefs. In my oppinion, the book had a little to much religion. I am not a huge fan of Mormon novels. They can get a little too cheesy for my taste. That could explain why I didn't love this story. For non-members, I'm sure it is very interesting. I love stories of the Amish and really love to dig into their beliefs and traditions. I'm sure others feel the same way about members of the LDS church. The book recieved great reviews from reputable newspapers across the country, so you may want to give it a try.
Profile Image for Robyn.
498 reviews7 followers
November 4, 2011
This is the second book I 'checked out' from the library on my Kindle. So much better than the first but that is another story. I would have given this one 3 stars for the humor factor but I am so stingy about stars and feel the only reason I would recommend this book would be because it is so hillariously inaccurate.
The author, not LDS, writes about an LDS family who goes through a terrible tradgedy where two of their children are killed. The parents eventually decide they need to forgive the mad responsible in order to move on with thier lives but the daughter does not. That part I found interesting and the authour has an interesting storytelling style that I enjoyed reading.
However where ever the author got her information about the church it was way off base. The father gives a 'father's blessing' to each child every morning and night, he takes the new baby to the 'temple' in Cedar City to have it sealed to the family, women don't wear wedding dresses in the temple, some wierd names for return missionaries (MSS), Coke is ok to drink, if it has been blessed, the girls call eachother 'sister', the mother is looking for ideas for her 'sisters relief' work, they refer to Heavenly Father as 'The Heavenly Father', I could go on but I want to get some sleep tonight.
The story is clean and somewhat interesting and if you have nothing else to read....

ps my spell check is not working so you also get to see what a terrible speller I am.
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