Our Child of the Stars by Stephen Cox

(6.0/10) Well-written but overly twee and stretches believability too far

I struggled a little with this book, despite really wanting to like it. I found it reminiscent of Robert McCammon's A Boy's Life and also the work of Stephen King. 

The book is imbued with the feel of 1950's America and also the wonder of childhood. These were both, for me, a very good thing as this type of books is definitely my thing.

First, a couple more positives. I enjoyed how the book explored a parent's unconditional love for a child but I thought its main strength lay in the adult relationship between Molly and Gene. It was messy, as adult relationships in the majority of cases are. Their relationship felt real, especially in that it was not strong enough to sustain the strains of married life.

But I had two major issues with the book. The first being that it stretched believability beyond what I was prepared to accept. Look, I know, this is a story about an alien boy - but the key element of any fantasy or science fiction is to make the unbelievable easily believable. Unfortunately I was unable to buy into the story and so always felt on the outside, unable to immerse myself in the narrative. The second issue I had is that I found the alien boy, Cory, overly twee (excessively or affectedly quaint, pretty, or sentimental.). I'm fine with kids being cute and adorable but this needs to be balanced with times when they are difficult. I found Cory to be too 'perfect' and strangely I found it unable to warm to him.

Reading a book is highly subjective and Our Child of the Stars did not work for me due mainly to the two reasons outlined above. But this is a well-written book and I can easily imagine it being a reading joy for many other readers. It simply did not work for me. Maybe my heart has gone cold.

As always, read the blurb and if it appeals, read it and make up your own mind:

Molly and Gene Myers’ marriage is on the brink of collapse. Then a child arrives, with a remarkable appearance. Will he bring them together, or tear their whole world apart?

Molly and Gene Myers were happy, until tragedy blighted their hopes of children. During the years of darkness and despair, they each put their marriage in jeopardy, but now they are beginning to rebuild their fragile bond.

This is the year of Woodstock and the moon landings; war is raging in Vietnam and the superpowers are threatening each other with annihilation.

Then the meteor crashes into Amber Grove, devastating the small New England town - and changing their lives forever. Molly, a nurse, caught up in the thick of the disaster, is given care of a desperately ill patient rescued from the wreckage: a sick boy with a remarkable appearance, an orphan who needs a mother.

And soon the whole world will be looking for him.

Cory’s arrival has changed everything. And the Myers will do anything to keep him safe.

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