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4.26  ·  Rating details ·  1,573 ratings  ·  309 reviews

The final novel from Richard Wagamese, the bestselling and beloved author of Indian Horse and Medicine Walk, centres on an abused woman on the run who finds refuge on a farm owned by an Indigenous man with wounds of his own. A profoundly moving novel about the redemptive power of love, mercy, and compassion--and the land's ability to heal us.

Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 14th 2018 by McClelland & Stewart
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Friederike Knabe You don't have to, but it enriches the reading if you have read Medicine Walk prior to Starlight. The author intended it as a kind of sequel.

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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  1,573 ratings  ·  309 reviews

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Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian-author, 2018
I went into this novel with some trepidation, knowing this unfinished sequel to Medicine Walk was the last work of Richard Wagamese. Would it be as profound as his completed and polished Indian Horse, Medicine Walk and Ragged Company? I need not have worried. There he was, right on every page. He writes characters with empathy, depth and humour. He writes of nature, setting, and the landscape of central British Columbia, with reverence. I felt right out there. Free of measuring up, free of what ...more
Tara Rock
Feb 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story begins in a small valley in British Columbia where native Frank Starlight immerses himself in the natural world and all things wild. It is exceptionally well written with heavy emphasis on " the land." Mr. Wagamese passed away before finishing and, fortunately I believe, no one attempted to write his conclusion. However, from his notes we are told of his intention as to what would transpire. Please don't hesitate to read due to this factor as it truly is an exceptional piece of work.
"From the beloved, bestselling author of INDIAN HORSE and MEDICINE WALK, Richard Wagamese's final novel is a rapturous and profoundly moving story of love, compassion, mercy, and the consolations to be found in the natural world." - Quote from front book flap

I love Richard Wagamese's beautiful descriptive writing. The following quote from page 127 of STARLIGHT takes me back in memory to a breathtaking trail ride in the foothills and mountains of Western Canada in the 1990's.

"They all took some
Nov 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: can-con, indigenous, 2018
For Starlight the farm was his heritage and culture, the plainspoken earnestness of his neighbours all the language he needed, and the feel of the land beneath his feet all the philosophy and worldview that fed his sense of purpose. A night sky brimmed with stars, the snap and crackle of a fire behind him in the darkness, and the howls of wolves on distant ridges were all the spirituality he'd ever needed. He was not displaced or dispossessed. He was home. In that, he felt keenly alive.

Mar 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian, canlit
Just a few thoughts on this unfinished novel by the late Richard Wagamese:
We revisit the wonderful, now adult character of Frank Starlight introduced to us as a teenager in his earlier novel 'Medicine Walk'.
In this novel, Frank and his live-in farmhand and good friend take in a woman, Emmy and her young daughter who dramatically escaped an abusive relationship and who are now on the run from the alcohol fueled crazed lunatic and his cohort.
Once again, the beautiful wild untamed land and
Sep 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great last book written and published by one of, if not, my favourite author. Loved it. Wonderful story filled with interesting and fully formed characters and "a great deal of soul". So heartfelt. So touching. So moving. The book also had "meat and bones" and included important social issues including violence, rape, incest, homelessness, racism, the need to reach out and asked important questions about what constitutes a family, makes a man a man etcetera. It certainly makes one think. A well ...more
❀ Susan G
Aug 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-reads
A more fulsome review to come but I kept wanting to return to the characters after closing the book. So sad to lose this amazing storyteller.

I loved that the publisher did not try to form their own ending and added in the notes at the end of what Richard Wagamese had told his family and friends about how he was planning to end the book. RIP RW.
Friederike Knabe
Jan 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Since finishing Medicine Walk and reading about Richard Wagamese's ideas for a follow up I have been waiting in anticipation for this novel. Sadly, Richard didn't live to see STARLIGHT completed. Like many of his fans and friends, I am grateful beyond measure that his editors, publisher and family decided to publish the unfinished draft version. It is such a beautifully written, sensitive story about living and finding one's home totally within nature. It does not lack drama either. The text is ...more
Oct 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
Reading a book written by Wagamese is like admiring a beautiful piece of art. The beauty of the story is in its soul, in the experience of witnessing it come to life. Wagameses prose is both captivating and inviting.
Starlight is a book about despair, hope and transformation. It is a character driven novel whose strength comes from its richly defined characters. What struck a chord for me personally was the setting as it takes place in BC. My hometown was even mentioned! Sadly, this was Wagamese
Bon Tom
Mar 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Beautiful love story with natural spirituality and mindfulness. It's unfinished, unfortunately, but afterword almost made me laugh and cry at the same time, which is never a bad sign.
Mar 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Its not in our imagined wholeness that we become art, its in the celebration of our cracks.-Richard Wagamese

Starlight may be the first incomplete, posthumous, story that Ive read. Richard Wagamese passed away before completing his first draft of Starlight, but with his estates blessing, this story came to be published. Its a follow up to Medicine Walk, a story that is on my bookshelf but I have yet to read.

Franklin Starlight is grieving the loss of the man who raised him, living a quiet life on
Oct 29, 2018 rated it liked it
This is the saddest review I think I shall ever have to give because while Richard Wagamese is a gifted wordsmith and storyteller, this novel, which was published unfinished after his death, is more a first draft then a completed work. As a draft, it does not stand up to his other works in any way. It reads as a framework more than a story and in this framework there are too many problems and too little of the regular Wagamese beauty for me to believe he would have wished this to be seen by the ...more
Victoria Betts
Feb 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I knew the story was unfinished before starting it. And although it was somewhat frustrating to read to that point and not get the resolution I was craving, Richard Wagamese's editors, publishers, and his agent did an amazing job of providing closure in the author's own words.
Starlight had me drawn in from the first page. The characters are so relatable and the descriptions of nature and animals (which are integral to the plot) are simply magical. I was drawn into
Feb 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian-author
This is a great book, I did not want it to end because I know there will be no more from this great author.

I really appreciated how the publisher added notes and essays to the end of the book to pay respect to this great author
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I cant say enough of Richard Wagameses talent as an author. In a lot of ways, he has spoiled me for any other. His prose, story development, descriptive writing are second to none. He is so missed.

The book Starlight is a continuation of Medicine Walk which in itself is a treat. The story flows with a life of its own, bringing in broken characters with need of healing. A wonderful story of growth and hope. I highly recommend it.
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Richard Wagamese is such a beautiful writer. Im so sad this book went unfinished but I think that the place where it stopped was natural. ...more
Judy Decaigny
Mar 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The loss of Richard Wagamese is a tragedy to all those who love beautiful writing and wonderful story telling. Another gem.
Tori Grasley
Sep 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: canadian
Yet another of his books finished (thats 4 now,) and I still havent been disappointed. Richard Wagamese was such an incredible author, and his stories are so powerful. I was reading it on a chair in my living room, but felt like I was standing in the middle of the bush. This specific book is bittersweet, because he was partway through writing this when he passed away. Im glad nobody tried to finish it for him, because Richard Wagamese had a writing style of his own, that nobody else could ever ...more
Apr 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Love is unbroken country. Every step ya take deeper into it changes you. Makes you more.

Beautiful, final and unfinished book by Richard Wagamese. His editors did him justice in bringing this gift to his readers.
Joy (joyous reads)
Nov 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wish this didn't feel so unfinished. It was still beautiful, though and it conjures up such sublime respect for nature, its power and its beauty.
Oct 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a heartwarming read. I wanted it to go on and on. Friendship, love, understanding and respect. It was everything I expected in a book by Richard Wagamese. We've lost a great writer far too soon.
Tina Siegel
Sep 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a lovely parting gift.

I knew when I started Starlight that it wasnt finished before Richard Wagamese passed away, and I wasnt sure I wanted to start a story with no end. Wagamese is one of my favourite writers, though, and I couldnt not read his last book. So I did.

Im not sure it matters what Starlight is about because its filled with Wagameses kindness and wisdom and understanding of both the harsh realities and beautiful truths of life. The characters he created, here, will make you
Jul 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: canadian-fiction
Wagamese's final novel is a notable conclusion to the career of an amazing storyteller. This novel is both compelling and poignant, and the author weaves a story that is sure to garner much praise.

The story, which is clearly described above, falls back on themes Wagamese has explored before, home, family, redemption and love. It is through his love of the landscape of the interior of B.C. that the "lessons" he's sharing come to life. The characters here are all fractured, each carrying what
Wayne Inkster
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What a book. A shame we lost the writer, as his ability to draw you in was amazing.

Emmy and Winnie desperately leave a violent life. They are emotionally lost, frozen, lack trust, have no self-esteem or self-worth.

Enter Statlight. A man who doesn't need to help, but takes them in without knowing their past. He opened his house and soul and helped bring them back into life and reality.

Meanwhile, they are touching parts of his soul that even he didn't realize needed mending.

Though the book was
Oct 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I came to read HIS LAST BOOK FIRST QUITE BY ACCIDENT. I had seen the movie "Indian Horse" and knew that I wanted to read some of Richard's books so I ordered a couple from the library. The first one did not arrive at the right time for me so I returned it unread, but as soon as I started reading Starlight, I was all in! Such beautiful words, such awe inspiring descriptions, such diversity of characters and lives. A truly amazing read! I cannot wait to read all of his works!
I enjoyed Wagamese's writing style, but I just found the story pretty boring. Woman and child run away from abusive ex. Man feels bad for them and lets them move in with him. He teaches her how to trust again. She teaches him how to love.
Caitlin Henderson
I wish there was more. Sad it will never be completed.
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great book!!
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
A lovely book all the more poignant that it is unfinished due to the untimely death of the author.
Wagamese clearly had a way with words.
His descriptions of that Unbroken Country were spellbinding. What a beautiful final novel.
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Richard Wagamese was one of Canada's foremost Native authors and storytellers. He worked as a professional writer since 1979. He was a newspaper columnist and reporter, radio and television broadcaster and producer, documentary producer and the author of twelve titles from major Canadian publishers.

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“...that land's my home. That land's my deepest wish, my wildest dream, the only prayer and the only temple i'm ever gonna need.” 6 likes
“That open country is so huge you can feel lost and abandoned in it or you can work to feel a part of it, like ya belong to it and it belongs to you. Like a part of you is rock and stone and stream and all the open sky. Ya get past lonesome then...them creatures is all my family and i'm family to them as well.” 2 likes
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