The Wide Starlight
The Hazel Wood meets The Astonishing Color of After in this dreamy, atmospheric novel that follows sixteen-year-old Eli as she tries to remember what truly happened the night her mother disappeared off a frozen fjord in Norway under the Northern Lights.
Never whistle at the Northern Lights, the legend goes, or they'll sweep down from the sky and carry you away.
Sixteen-year-old Eline Davis knows it's true. She was there ten years ago, on a frozen fjord in Svalbard, Norway, the night her mother whistled at the lights and then vanished.
Now, Eli lives an ordinary life with her dad on Cape Cod. But when the Northern Lights are visible over the Cape for just one night, she can't resist the possibility of seeing her mother again. So she whistles--and it works. Her mother appears, with snowy hair, frosty fingertips and a hazy story of where she's been all these years. And she doesn't return alone.
Along with Eli's mother's reappearance come strange, impossible things. Narwhals swimming in Cape Cod Bay, meteorites landing in Eli's yard, and three shadowy princesses with ominous messages. It's all too much, too fast, and Eli pushes her mother away. She disappears again--but this time, she leaves behind a note that will send Eli on a journey across continents, to the northern tip of the world:
Find me where I left you.
Praise for The Wide Starlight
A 2021 Massachusetts Book Award Must-Read Book
★ "With her vividly rendered settings, emotionally complex characters, and sweet and sinister magical realism, Lesperance may be a promising successor to Alice Hoffman...[The Wide Starlight is] sharp and snow-dusted yet strangely cozy; a comforting winter's read." —Kirkus, starred review
★ "A lovely exploration of grief and the way stories shape our lives—and how reshaping stories can have consequences. The pages fly by as Lesperance’s compelling voice and masterful switching between present-day narrative and fairy-tale past smoothly build a portrait of intergenerational love, loss, and magic rooted in a glittering Arctic landscape." —BCCB, starred review
"This mesmerizing and sometimes heartbreaking fantasy reveals the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters...A haunting contemporary fantasy." —School Library Journal
"Lesperance weaves the myth and magic of Norwegian folklore into a realistic setting in this wintry tale of a teen searching for her long-lost mother...an emotionally complex tale of the love between mothers and daughters that balances between ominous and cozy." —Booklist
"[A] promising debut." —Publishers Weekly
“Poetic and richly imagined, The Wide Starlight is a spell-binding journey through a world of Nordic fairytale…the heart-wrenching story of a teenage girl and her quest to reclaim and understand the mother who abandoned her.” —Edith Patou, award-winning author of East and West
"Nicole Lesperance blends crystalline prose, an atmospheric setting and memorable characters to create a story that dances and shines as brightly as the northern lights in her debut YA novel, The Wide Starlight." —BookPage
A Junior Library Guild Selection