“A Star for Mrs. Blake” Explores the Experiences of the Gold Star Mothers

9780307958846In World War One, the designation “Gold Star Mother” was given to those mothers who had a son or sons lost in combat. After the war, families were given the option to bring their loved one’s remains home or bury them in France. For those who chose internment overseas, the military organized “pilgrimages” for Gold Star Mothers to see the graves.
Set in the 1930’s, “A Star for Mrs. Blake” is the fictional account of one such pilgrimage. Cora Blake is a librarian struggling to make ends meet for her and her nieces when she receives word that she is scheduled to go to Paris and then Verdun to see her only son’s grave. The women are grouped into smaller groups and Cora finds herself with a wealthy socialite, an Irish maid, a Russian Jew and a former tennis star struggling with mental health issues. The five women struggle to find common ground aside from their loss. Cora meets a disfigured journalist who changes her life in unforeseen ways and all of the women struggle to find peace in the face of devastating loss.
“A Star for Mrs. Blake” is a masterfully-written story that gives the reader a look at a nearly forgotten bit of history. Fully engaging and a wonderful read, this is the perfect book for book groups and readers of high school grades and up. If you’re looking for a book that will find a permanent place on your shelves and in your heart, give “A Star for Mrs. Blake” a try. I think you’ll be glad you did!
This book was provided to me by the publisher for this review. The opinions, however, are entirely my own! “A Star for Mrs. Blake” is currently scheduled for release on January 14, 2014.

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