The Wide Starlight

Razorbill. Feb. 2021. 320p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593116227.
Gr 7 Up–Sixteen-year-old Eline Davis lives on Cape Cod with her American father. When she was little, they and her Norwegian mother, Silje, lived in Svalbard. When Eli was six, Silje took her to a glacier and whistled down the Northern Lights to take both of them away, but only her mother disappeared. Eli’s felt broken ever since. Then Eli receives a mysterious letter written in Norwegian saying that Silje is close and to call her. The Northern Lights also appear over Cape Cod, so Eli tries whistling her mother back. Eli’s afraid to believe it when Silje does return, not quite human. Eli starts seeing three mysterious girls in long cloaks with strange eyes skulking around. When meteorites begin falling and a pod of narwhals beach themselves on the cape, Eli realizes the longer her mother’s there, the more things keep breaking down. Silje attempts to fix it and disappears again, leaving Eli a message that says, “Find me where I left you.” Eli’s search takes her and her father back to Svalbard to a grandmother Eli hated and the magical stories Silje used to tell Eli. This mesmerizing and sometimes heartbreaking fantasy reveals the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters while exploring mental illness, loss, regret, guilt, and forgiveness. All characters are white.
VERDICT A haunting contemporary fantasy inspired by Norwegian fairy tales set on Cape Cod and on an island off Norway’s coast. For fans of Emily X.R. Pan, Jaclyn Moriarty, Holly Black, Cornelia Funke, and Edith Pattou.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing