The River by Starlight
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message 1: by Ellen (new)

Ellen Notbohm | 33 comments “A good think, a good cry, a good blood-riling social commentary, an achingly beautiful love story.” That’s how a reader summed up THE RIVER BY STARLIGHT, and I can’t say it better myself. I’m delighted to be spending the week here with you, sharing the story and hearing your insights about reading, writing and loving historical fiction. We’ll dive into my book’s themes of little-understood maternal mental illness, gender inequity, and climate disaster in the early 20th century—all still painfully resonant today. Yesterday’s post gives a detailed intro to the book; hope you caught some or all of it.

Let’s connect! I’ll be here live at the following times:

Monday at 10:00 a.m. PST/1:00 p.m. EST
Tuesday at noon/PST/3:00 p.m. EST
Thursday at 4:00 p.m. PST/7:00 p.m. EST

And of course, GIVEAWAYS:
Wednesday at 5:00 p.m. PST – signed copy of THE RIVER BY STARLIGHT
Friday at 5:00 p.m. PST – THE RIVER BY STARLIGHT goodie bundle, including signed book, notecard set, Snore in Peace herbal tea, and a coaster for your tea mug while you read.

Comment on any post to be entered in the giveaways.

So let’s start at the beginning of the journey—literally and literarily. To write authentically about the places that Annie and Adam inhabited, I had to go there and walk in their steps. On the first of many research trips, I stood on the bank of their homestead on Montana’s Milk River, on the very spot where the scene conceiving the book’s title took place. Over several years, I traveled the throughout Montana, into remote corners of North Dakota, and up into Alberta, where I fell in love with the skies and the people. Everywhere I went, I found myself drawn to looking at the sky—looking up, up from the dusty archives and records I was digging through, up from the old buildings and cracking sidewalks I was exploring, up from the tables where I shared meals with the extraordinary people I met. Looking to the sky, I felt oneness with Annie and Adam, that it was the same sky and the same angle of light and the same capricious weather that surrounded them. I broiled in 105° heat at their homestead. I was out in the open when a North Dakota sky suddenly turned an eerie shade and without warning unleashed a deluge that soaked me to the bones within seconds and flattened the flowers and weeds around me. In Alberta, I couldn’t take my eyes off those far-north clouds that seemed to speak their own language.

Annie looked to the night sky for the inspiration for her wedding gift to Adam, and later, she embraced its constancy for the strength she needed to crawl out of hopelessness. Adam ultimately feared looking at the sky, for the power it held to make or break a farmstead’s existence.

Today’s question:

What do you feel when you look at the stars?

message 2: by Debbie (new) - added it

Debbie | 78 comments I feel that there is such a huge vastness and I am so minuscule in it. Have you ever been to Flagstaff AZ? The night sky there is amazing. There is also an observatory there to visit - I love it!
Your book sounds very interesting!!

message 3: by Ellen (new)

Ellen Notbohm | 33 comments In college I took Astronomy 101. The professor knew he was teaching students who wouldn't go on to careers in science, so he kept it succinct. Astronomy, he said, was to give you an appreciation for the vastness of distance and time. That has stayed with me always. I haven't been to Flagstaff, but have been to other parts of Arizona, and have a friend who writes about Flagstaff. I'm sure I'll get there one day. I can't resist observatories. Thanks for joining the discussion!

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