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Wrapped in the Stars

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Struggling with guilt over her sister's death and the stress of her medical residency, Maya Radelis runs away to Scotland. A robin seems to lead her to an antique shop, where she finds a century-old engagement ring. But what is the ring’s history? She follows the slim paper trail, wondering if it is only coincidence that her dreams reveal the story of a Swiss woman physician who wore the ring during World War I.

In Paris she meets fellow New Yorker David Fischer, a lawyer with family in Switzerland as well as America. He helps Maya follow the memories stored in the ring as they lead her around Europe. The attraction between David and Maya grows, and when they discover a connection between the ring and David’s family, they learn, bit by bit, more about the ring’s earlier owner. Will Maya’s own life have the same tragedy of lost love?

279 pages, Kindle Edition

First published February 19, 2018

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About the author

Elena Mikalsen

4 books150 followers
I am a Women's Fiction/Romance author. I write books about smart women in extraordinary circumstances. WRAPPED IN THE STARS was short-listed for the Del Sol First Novel Prize in 2017.

I am somewhat obsessive about travel, but, when I am at home, in San Antonio, I can be found browsing through bookstores or antique shops with my husband and two children.

When not writing stories, I am a Pediatric Psychologist helping children with chronic medical illness.

I blog on issues of mental health for teens and adults at https://www.drelenamikalsen.com

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5 stars
63 (42%)
4 stars
51 (34%)
3 stars
20 (13%)
2 stars
9 (6%)
1 star
4 (2%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 67 reviews
Profile Image for Holly  B (Short break!).
815 reviews1,874 followers
February 18, 2018
A delightful and compelling novel about a woman, Maya Radelis, who is a medical student in New York. She is being scrutinized over a patient and feels so overwhelmed that she takes off to Edinburgh. Maybe she is running away from her old life, but she will soon realize that her journey has just begun.  A stroke of serendipity, an antique shop, and a hundred year old diamond engagement ring will set her course.

We will learn about the ring's history through a dual timeline that will take us from present day to the period surrounding WWI where we meet Rebecca, who was also a medical student. 

Can a ring hold memories?  Maya is determined to learn more and may just find love along the way. 

I really enjoyed the mystery surrounding the ring, its origin and the power it seemed to hold.  I loved it and the ending doesn't disappoint!

Thanks to the author for my copy. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Jennifer Klepper.
Author 1 book79 followers
January 21, 2018
Mikalsen's prose, full of rich detail, has an Old World feel that transports the reader to the alleyways of Edinburgh, the bustle of Paris, and the medieval streets of Bern, where two women are separated by a century but are connected by a love story.
Profile Image for Amanda Stauffer.
Author 1 book39 followers
January 22, 2018
Mikalsen's debut draws you in and takes you on a richly detailed journey, from Edinburgh to Bern, to Paris and New York. A tale of aspirations and familial pressures, of serendipity and the choices we make, WRAPPED IN THE STARS thoughtfully explores how we can take control of our lives.
Profile Image for Randee Green.
Author 6 books76 followers
February 19, 2018
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC.

What immediately stood out to me in WRAPPED IN THE STARS was that it's two romance novels in one. The novel follows two female characters, switching back-and-forth between their perspectives. Maya is a resident at a hospital in New York, but due to an unfortunate circumstance, she has taken a sabbatical from her residency and left the United States. In Scotland, Maya purchases an antique ring. After she has the ring, she begins to have dreams and visions about the ring's original owner - a female physician named Rebecca who lived in Switzerland in the early 1900s. In an attempt to learn more about the ring and Rebecca, Maya travels first to Paris and then to Switzerland. Along the way, she meets a man named David. As a romance blooms between Maya and David, they learn that they both have a surprising connection to Rebecca's ring. As Maya searches for answers about the ring, Rebecca's romance with a Jewish student from the Ukraine plays out in the years surrounding World War 1.

Both Maya's and Rebecca's love stories are heartwarming and captivating. And their personal lives and struggles will keep the reader turning the page. You will be cheering for both characters to find love. WRAPPED IN THE STARS is a wonderful romance novel, delivering not one but two romances! All of the characters are intriguing, and the landscapes/time periods are brought to life in the descriptions. And the mystery surrounding the ring adds an extra element to the story that I thought was fascinating.
Profile Image for Kate Rock.
437 reviews57 followers
February 20, 2018
I am still feeling “all the feels” from the wonderful debut novel from Elena Mikalsen. Wrapped in the Stars (I love the name and cover!) gives us a story opulent in history that seemed like it could take place today. It is a dual timeline story, which I always enjoy, you’ll be in present day Scotland and then in WWI Switzerland and other beautiful described cities and countries along the way. You will feel right there in the story and love Rebecca, a strong, historical heroine in this beautifully written story that I cherish and know you will too. Going against the tradition, Maya, our current day Heroine leaves her medical residency in modern day after an incident that could end her career. What happens after that is a lovely intertwined story of history, strength, fate, synchronicity and intrigue. I want to thank the author for asking me to read an early readers edition for my honest review. I highly anticipate any new works from her. 5 lovely stars. I highly recommend this to anyone who loves historical fiction, dual timelines and a damn good book. A great read!
Profile Image for Carolyn Cross.
Author 6 books81 followers
February 19, 2018
This was a lovely book! Told in multiple POVs, we follow the paths of two young physicians: Maya in present day and Rebecca in the early 20th century. Both face struggles, must grow into themselves, and learn what matters most to them in life. I love the journey of Maya and how it connects with the story of Rebecca. It is a beautiful tale that blends love, history, and fate all in one. As a historical fiction (which is not my default genre), I enjoyed the beauty of this endearing story! Wrapped in the Stars is a sweet love story that leaves you feeling warm and reflective afterward! I recommend!
Profile Image for Rachel Pudelek.
Author 4 books63 followers
March 3, 2018
Such an intriguing read. The story is woven together seamlessly as the narration switches back and forth from present time (Maya) to early 1900's (Rebecca). I thoroughly enjoyed the romance and the touch of magic sprinkled throughout.
Profile Image for Sue .
1,653 reviews97 followers
January 30, 2018
It's difficult to believe that this great book is a debut for the author. I can't wait to see what she writes in the future. This is a well written book with beautiful locations, dual time lines, mystery and love sprinkled with just a bit of magic.

In the modern day timeline, Maya is a resident in medical school who has traveled to Europe to try to find her way beyond a tragedy at her hospital. She finds a ring in a small shop in Edinburgh that she feels she must buy and it changes her life. She starts getting flashbacks and dreams of an earlier time and feels that she has to explore the ring's history. In her travels from Paris to Switzerland, she meets David who wants to help with her quest. In the historical time line, the main character is Rebecca. Her story takes place before and during WWI when she goes to medical school against her parent's insistence that her goal should be to find a husband. While at school, she meets a poor Russian student and falls in love. He gives her the ring to show her his love. Can a ring bring happiness to two women who live over 100 years apart?

Usually when I read dual time line books, I like one story more than the other but in this book, I enjoyed Maya's story as much as I did Rebecca's. This is a beautiful love time periods story and I highly recommend it.

Thanks to the author for a copy of this book to read and review. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Suanne.
Author 10 books997 followers
March 8, 2018
In Wrapped in the Stars, with a touch of magical realism and a sprinkle of quantum physics, Elena Mikalsen blends the present with the Belle Epoque past, deftly weaving two points of view into two timeless romances into a can’t-be-put-down novel.
Profile Image for Jennifer Fromke.
Author 5 books87 followers
February 23, 2018
This novel is an unexpected romance laced with a little bit of science, and placed in a stunning setting. Dual timelines follow two women with a mysterious connection. I love the magical elements because they swirl the mystery as the tale is spun about two female physicians. Susanna Kearsley’s novels come to mind right away as you read the opening pages.

The contemporary physician, Maya, gets lost one day in Edinburgh, Scotland. This sets in motion a journey to France, Switzerland, and eventually back to her home in New York City. But as she travels in search of the story behind the ring she bought in Scotland, the reader gets a peek at the woman who received that ring almost 100 years before during the first world war. Unwittingly, the women have more in common than either could imagine.

The pacing is great, the setting is stunning, and the female leads make me second guess my decision not to apply to medical school 25 years ago. I think you’ll enjoy this read which explores WWI and the Bolshevik Revolution from the perspective of the Swiss as well as Russian-Jewish students in Bern at the time. This refreshing viewpoint sets the story apart and makes it worth your while. Plus, there are some swoony moments you won’t want to miss as both women strive for a balance between love and careers in a profession dominated by men.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Christie Sitterly.
259 reviews11 followers
August 14, 2018
Wrapped in the Stars by Elena Mikalsen is a novel that wraps the reader in fairy lights and sprinkles of magic. This is one of my favorite books! Maya is in the midst of crisis. She is a medical resident who has taken leave after a tragedy occurred for which she blames herself. She is also dealing with her guilt over her sister’s death many years ago. Maya has traveled to Scotland and finds herself lost. A little bird seems to call to her and as she follows it, she comes across a small shop. A ring in the window calls to her heart and she knows she must purchase it. She feels compelled to discover the identity of the ring’s original owner, especially as she begins to have flashbacks of someone else’s past. This mystery leads her to Paris, where she meets David and feels an instant connection. She travels to Switzerland where she discovers that she and David have more of a connection than originally thought. Readers will swoon over the love story that unfolds in the present, as well as one that took place in the past. Mikalsen flawlessly transports the reader back in time and makes history come alive. This book is a one of a kind gem!
Profile Image for Rachel.
Author 12 books461 followers
March 4, 2018
I'm a sucker for reading stories about independent women and exotic travels. This braided, magical tale set in Europe is about two women doctors who lived a century apart and whose lives are connected by a ring laden with memories. The evocative descriptions of Edinburg, Paris, and Bern give this reader a virtual tour across Europe. I loved the way the characters' journeys echoed each other. Especially moving was the story of the young woman of 1912 whose persistence and courage lead her to become a physician, against all personal and social odds. If you enjoy historical novels with a touch of magic realism, this one is for you.
Profile Image for Ana.
129 reviews
February 11, 2018
I really enjoyed this one. Interesting concept and the story was told really well. I liked the characters and enjoyed learning a bit of history along the way too!
Profile Image for Goodlittlewitch.
25 reviews2 followers
March 18, 2018
A dual-woven timeline with a dash of magical realism makes for an ambitious and impressive debut!

Elena Mikalsen's debut is a beautifully crafted, engaging story of love that transcends time, and can be accessed with a little bit of magical realism captured in a ring. The story is written deftly, transitioning comfortably between a story of early 20th Century Bern, Switzerland, and the struggles of a woman studying to be a doctor, and present day Edinburgh, Paris, Bern and New York, all compressed into a timeline that takes only a week to unfold.

Maya, Ms. Mikalsen's present day protagonist, is running away from difficulties in her medical residency, and a lifetime of guilt over her sister's death. Rebecca, the main character of the early 20th Century timeline is young and ambitious in her desire to become a doctor and an independent woman, despite the objections of her mother. While at school, she meets and gradually falls in love with Mark, another medical student. But as is so often the case, their path to love is uneven and difficult. Still, their love is one that transcends time and physical boundaries; it finds its way into a ring that Rebecca is given by Mark.

When Maya sees the ring in an antique store in Edinburgh, Scotland, she's drawn to it, and once she wears it, begins having "memories" of its former owner. Maya then embarks on a physical journey through Europe, to trace the rings' history, and an emotional journey through both her struggles with medical school and her history in relationships.

Ms. Mikalsen writes both crisply and with elegant imagery that isn't so heavy handed as to make the reading slow down. The story pulled me through and I was thoroughly satisfied with the ending. I hadn't expected some of the twists that came along the way, which made reading the story more interesting. She shows an understanding of the difficulties of medical residency, Revolutionary Russian ethos and the struggles of women throughout history to find their own way that is both empathetic and optimistic.

I'm looking forward to reading her future books. Great debut!
Profile Image for Linda Zagon.
1,343 reviews104 followers
March 17, 2018
My Review of “Wrapped in the Stars” by Elena Mikalsen

“Wrapped in the Stars” by Elena Mikalsen is a unique, intriguing and captivating novel that I enjoyed. The Genres for this Novel are Fiction, Woman’s Fiction, Magical Realism and a touch of Historical History. Elena Mikalsen has woven a novel connecting two timelines, characters, events and stories. There is a past timeline and a present timeline with different characters, that seem to eventually complete the puzzle. There is also symbolism. There is a robin and a ring that are very significant in this story .

The characters are complex and complicated. In the present timeline, Maya Radelis has run away from problems with her medical residency, and guilt over her sister’s death . She leaves the United States and finds herself in Scotland. Following the path of a robin, she sees an unusual ring in a jewelry store, and she knows she has to have it. Maya finds herself involved in the history of the ring, and often gets flashbacks. She goes to Paris and meets David a fellow New Yorker. They find themselves in Switzerland to follow the history of the ring and the woman from the past, also a physician. What does all of this mean? Why is this happening? Is there something that is “magical” about this ring? What is the connection?

I would recommend this book to readers that enjoy fiction with a touch of magic realism. I received an ARC from NetGalley for my honest review.
Profile Image for Susan Peterson.
1,568 reviews252 followers
February 28, 2018
Wrapped In the Stars is a riveting, heartfelt story about great loves, heartache and fate...told with a little bit of magic. Maya is in Edinburgh, running from guilt and blame, when a robin appears, leading her to an antique shop where she is compelled to buy a beautiful moonstone ring. She finds herself so fascinated by the ring and its past that she goes to Paris and then Switzerland, determined to learn more about the woman who wore it before her. In a dual timeline, we meet Rebecca, a young Swiss woman in 1911 who is determined to be a doctor. The author does a fantastic job at weaving the two timelines, as Rebecca’s and Maya’s stories converge in unexpected ways. At the heart of this book is a love story; a love that faces seemingly insurmountable challenges. I lost myself in the pages of this book as I became invested in the lives and loves of these wonderfully complicated characters.
Profile Image for Kathryn Scarborough.
Author 20 books15 followers
March 27, 2018
This is a charming book! I loved the characters and while reading , I wasn't sure where they were going. This is a great read, I highly recommend.

Kathryn Scarborough, author

The Wild Mountain Thyme

Profile Image for Cyndie Decker.
49 reviews
February 24, 2018
Great book!

This is a very lovely, well-researched historical romance. If you enjoy Susanna Kearsley, you will love this. I can’t wait for Elena’s next book!
1,290 reviews27 followers
March 2, 2018
WWI, star crossed lovers, a magical ring and a young doctor trying to solve the puzzle...so different and beautiful. I loved it.
Profile Image for YZ.
Author 7 books94 followers
April 7, 2018
Delightful read about the lasting bonds that form between people, be they lovers, sisters, or grandparents/grandchildren. I was especially drawn by the interesting passages detailing the difficulties of being one of the first female doctors.
Profile Image for Donna.
567 reviews12 followers
February 13, 2018
Wrapped in the Stars is a debut novel but you wouldn't think that while reading it. Ms. Mikalsen has given us a story rich in history yet so poignantly relevant today. Her characters came to life so easily for me through their words and actions.

The dual timeline takes you from present day Scotland to WWI era Switzerland with a few stops along the way. While the historical story tends to pull me in more, I found both story lines equally intriguing and crossing over beautifully. When I read one, I wanted to know what was going on in the other.

What I loved about Rebecca was her belief in herself and her purpose; she wasn't going to let anyone dictate what she did with her life. While this went against tradition of the time, she stayed firm in her choices and overcame the gender biases of her time.

Thank you to Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours, the author & publisher for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book.
Profile Image for Natalia Iwanyckyj.
Author 2 books54 followers
February 26, 2018
Two women living 100 years apart, are the main characters of this dual-POV story. Both are smart and dedicated physicians. Both balance complex lives that include wonderfully interesting familial relationships, supportive friends, important humanitarian work, and romance.

The two stories weave together beautifully, assisted by a magical robin, an old moonstone ring, and synchronicities.

"Ever since I found Rebecca's ring, my life has been nothing but a string of messages from the universe or Fate or whatever!"

I particularly liked the main characters and their love interests. Supporting characters were well-developed and their experiences and perspectives enriched the story. The Swiss setting, insight into medical practices and social norms of the early 20th century, and insights into the groundwork for the Lenin-led Russian Revolution made for a fascinating read.
Profile Image for Diane.
Author 8 books156 followers
February 25, 2018
Reading this book reminded me of sitting before a fire wrapped in a robe, drinking a glass of wine and eating popcorn. It was easy and sweet. If you like romance, coincidences, travel, and robins--you will like this book.

Maya had been a resident in a hospital in New York when one of her patients died and she was blamed. She ran away and eventually found herself in Edinburgh, where a ring in an antique store called to her. The ring took her to Paris and Bern, where she explored the ring's history. That history involved medicine, women's rights, and even the Russian Revolution. It's a far-ranging story that moves back and forth between the present time and a hundred years in the past.

Sweet. Pleasant. An antidote to the stresses of present-day living.
Profile Image for Nalana.
97 reviews3 followers
January 24, 2018
I enjoyed this story. It covers two timelines and is about two different women and their struggles. They are connected by fate and the energy of true love.

When you read a book that has two story lines like this it can be hard not to have a favorite. Although I liked both timelines, I preferred the story of Rebecca and her struggles and romance with Mark.

The author does a great job of keeping the stories connected and there is nothing left unanswered for the reader. You get the closure you need in the end and I appreciated that aspect.

I would recommend this to anyone who likes to read stories with a magical/fated romance plotline.

*I received an ARC copy of this book. I was not asked to write a review, but wanted to anyway. :-)
Profile Image for Lori.
390 reviews21 followers
February 6, 2018
Congratulations to Elena on finishing her first novel! I look forward to her next book.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
2,575 reviews125 followers
June 2, 2019
Compelled to purchase an antique ring while visiting Scotland, Maya begins to dream about the ring's owner. Known as the science of parapsychology, "people who study it say that objects and people ... have ... this energy around them. When we meet people or touch objects, we can take or give some of this energy." Desperate to find out more about the rings owner, Maya embarks on a journey to Paris and then Switzerland. Will she find the information she's looking for?

"Ever since I found Rebecca's ring, my life has been nothing but a string of messages from from the universe or Fate or whatever!" - Maya

While I am usually skeptical about books with contrived story lines or too many coincidences (aka synchronicity, fate, or destiny), I suspended my disbelief for this book since it is based on the science behind this phenomenon. In lieu of trying to determine the validity of the story, I simply allowed myself to get lost in its magic.

And a sweet and enjoyable story it was! I would recommend this heartwarming debut for fans of magical realism and romantic stories with happy endings.

Thank you to the author for a copy won in a giveaway hosted by Eldonna Edwards. All opinions are my own.

Location: Scotland, Paris, and Switzerland
Profile Image for Melissa ***BITCH, I'M READING!***.
325 reviews208 followers
February 25, 2018
Won this though a Facebook giveaway from Books Scents candles... (check them out if you haven’t... they’re AMAZING!)
Anyhow can’t wait to start and to support a local (TEXAS lol😁) author!
22 reviews
January 29, 2018
I was sent a copy of Wrapped in the Stars by the author, Elena Mikalsen for an honest review. All opinions are my own. Rebecca lives in Switzerland in the early 1900s trying to become the first woman to be a doctor all the while facing a male dominated society. Maya, running away from her residency as a doctor in New York, travels to Paris and Switzerland trying to find the owner of a ring she purchased in Scotland. The ring has an energy that transports Maya as she experiences Rebecca’s life in flashbacks. Maya is curious and searches to find more about Rebecca and what happened to her while facing her own past: guilt from her twin sister’s death and the possibility of being expelled from a residency she has at a hospital in New York City. The author cautiously allows the reader to know just enough of Rebecca’s life, family, college struggles, and love interest, Mark as the story plays out. Some historical background is given with the mention of Russia and the Bolshevik Revolution that took place under Lenin. Interesting enough, Rebecca’s father, a doctor himself, treats Lenin’s wife. Maya has a love interest she meets in her search for the ring’s owner, David, who helps her uncover some predictable yet fate driven facts about Rebecca. Not until Maya has returned to New York does she discover her grandmother has family secrets that wrap the whole story up and give Maya love and comfort. Wrapped in the Stars has a unique storyline intertwined between Rebecca and Maya. I found the book to be well crafted and very enjoyable. I could not put it down, trying to see if my predictions were correct. I enjoyed the hint at history and the glimpse into a woman’s world in the early 1900s of Europe. I recommend this books for high school and up.
Profile Image for Donna Maguire.
4,392 reviews104 followers
March 5, 2018

I really enjoyed this book, it was a different book from what I am used to reading but I loved the way that the book reflected back on the life of previous owner.

Maya and Rebecca are both really interesting characters. Maya is a very complex lady living in modern times and Rebecca is living during WWI and has her own set of challenges to deal with.

The book really captivated me, it is very well written and it was a pleasure to read, I loved the way the story moved between the times - four stars from me, really enjoyable read!
Profile Image for Rea Frey.
Author 12 books677 followers
April 24, 2018
What do you get when you throw in travel, a little bit of mystery, magic, and romance? A delightful read that literally transports you to Europe (and a few of my favorite places) to trace an antique while learning about past and present storylines. Beautifully written. Dynamite plot. Exquisite settings. This book was pure magic from start to finish. Can't wait to see what she writes next.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 67 reviews

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