Book Review: A Sky without Stars

13 Mar

752797In 1951, Frankie Chasing Bear is a Lakota caught between cultures. She wants to raise her son Harold to revere his Lakota heritage, but she knows he will need to become as a white man to succeed. After his father’s killed in a barroom brawl, Harold and Frankie move to Arizona, where she begins a Lakota Star pattern quilt for Harold with tribal wisdom sung, sewn and prayed into it.

She distrusts Christians, as her own parents were forced to convert at an Indian School, until she meets BIA agent Nick Parker, a half-Lakota who’s also caught between cultures. Nick must convince Frankie that white men and Christians aren’t all bad as he tries to win her heart in order to put the stars back into her sky.

LClare-223Linda S. Clare is an award-winning coauthor of three books, including Lost Boys and the Moms Who Love Them (with Melody Carlson and Heather Kopp), Revealed: Spiritual Reality in a Makeover World, and Making Peace with a Dangerous God (with Kristen Johnson Ingram). She is also the author of The Fence My Father Built. She has taught college-level creative writing classes for seven years, and edits and mentors writers. She also is a frequent writing conference presenter and church retreat leader. She and her husband of thirty-one years have four grown children, including a set of twins. They live in Eugene, Oregon, with their five wayward cats: Oliver, Xena the Warrior Kitty, Paladine, Melchior, and Mamma Mia!

My Impressions:

Linda S. Clare takes her readers back to a dry, hot Arizona of the 1950s when Native Americans and white people were still distrustful of each other and uncomfortable with each other’s culture. Filled with characters yearning for a place to belong, A Sky without Stars is a love story and so much more. Another volume in the Quilts of Love series, it will take you back to a world that existed not that long ago.

Frankie Chasing Bear is a Lakota Indian of the high plains stuck in Phoenix, Arizona. Following the dreams of her deceased husband, Frankie loaded her son, Harold, into a broken down truck headed for California and a new life. But the truck gave out, and now they are trying to get by in a world controlled by the white man’s decisions. The local BIA man (Bureau of Indian Affairs) and half-breed, Nick Parker, is drawn to Frankie, but with his feet in two worlds, her distrust is hard to overcome. Frankie also struggles with reconciling the ways of her people with the faith her grandmother lived out in front of her. Through her piecing of a Lakota Star quilt for her son, Frankie learns the lessons her grandmother sought to teach.

A Sky without Stars is the love story between Nick and Frankie, but it is also a candid look at the state of government interference in the lives of Native Americans. The desire to assimilate Indian children, along with relocation strategies, led to intense distrust of white men and their God. This novel is a look at the white world versus Native American world complete with cultural clashes and bigotry on both sides. It is also a good lesson on the obstacles believers face when presenting the gospel to people hurt or betrayed by other Christians. Clare’s novel spurred me to learn more about our government’s assimilation programs and the Lakota Sioux tribe. It is great when an historical novel makes you dig a little deeper. It also presents problems that Native Americans still face today — alcoholism and unemployment.

A good addition to the Quilts of Love series, check out A Sky without Stars.


For more reviews, click HERE.

(Thanks to LitFuse and Abingdon Press for my review copy. The opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.

Linda Clare is celebrating the release with a Kindle HDX giveaway and joining her fellow Quilts of Love authors, Barbara Cameron and Joyce Magnin, for a Facebook “Spring Fling” party on April 1st.


One winner will receive:

  • A Kindle Fire HDX
  • Scraps of Evidence by Barbara Cameron
  • A Sky Without Stars by Linda S. Clare
  • Maybelle in Stitches by Joyce Magnin

Enter today by clicking one of the icons below. But hurry, the giveaway ends on April 1st. Winner will be announced at the “Spring Fling” Facebook Party on April 1st. RSVP today and connect with the authors from the Quilts of Love series, Barbara Cameron, Linda S. Clare, and Joyce Magnin, for an evening of book chat, quilt trivia, prizes, and an exclusive look at the next Quilts of Love book!

So grab your copies of Scraps of EvidenceA Sky Without Stars, and Maybelle in Stitches and join Barbara, Linda, and Joyce on the evening of April 1st for a chance to connect and make some new friends. (If you haven’t read the books, don’t let that stop you from coming!)


2 Responses to “Book Review: A Sky without Stars”

  1. Linda Clare (@Lindasclare) March 14, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    Thanks so much for reading A Sky without Stars! I’m glad you liked the story! If the Spring Fling isn’t enough fun for you, check out my fundraiser here: All donations are entered to win a full-sized handsewn Lakota Star quilt! The funds benefit Lillian Vallely School ( in Blackfoot, Idaho, which serves children living on the Ft. Hall reservation. Thanks and I hope you’ll tell your friends!

    • rbclibrary March 14, 2014 at 3:09 pm #

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I hope everyone will go to the fundraiser page.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: