"The whole thing reads thusly…'He telleth the number of the
stars; he calleth them all by their names. Psalm 147:4.' It means
that to God, you are as precious as every fixed star in the sky. He
calls you by name, Marie." So explains the printer to Marie, the
Ioway Indian woman whose journey towards hearing and grasping this
simple truth provides the theme for this absorbing story.
EVERY FIXED STAR by Jane Kirkpatrick, the second book in a trilogy
that began with A NAME OF HER OWN, is not merely the retelling of
the migration west. Rather, it parallels the life of Marie Dorion
to the struggles and adventures experienced by those brave pioneers
who came in every size, shape, color and creed, with motives
ranging from noble to nefarious. What a task for both the original
protagonists and for the writer who accepts the challenge to write
it down for us.
This phase of the journey begins after Marie has lost her husband
and first-born daughter to the wilderness that the family had set
out to conquer. She finds herself an outsider in encampment, where
she alone is responsible to pay off her husband's debts and for the
survival of herself and her two sons. There are no credit cards, no
food stamps --- only a knife given to her by Sacagawea with which
to gut and dress a fallen doe so that the children can eat during
the difficult winter.
EVERY FIXED STAR offers enrichment on many levels. There are words
of wisdom that are spoken by both Natives and Christians who try to
help Marie on her journey. Her Chipewyan friend, Sarah, tells her,
"Regret is the robe grief hands you. It promises warmth but gives
only weight. It is woman's work to turn regret into something of
There are the questions raised by Marie's unconditional love for
her sons and her lack of skill to communicate that love, a lack of
communication that leads the boys to have skewed perceptions of
their mother --- and each one deals with his feelings in ways that
wound her over and over.
And though there are the two strong, brave men who love Marie,
accept her as she is and provide her support, still there is always
the underlying theme, "You don't trust the good things that happen
to you, eh?" She cannot see her worth; she does not understand her
purpose and must struggle to accept even the smallest of
EVERY FIXED STAR will delight you with pictures of love, bravery,
struggles and triumphs, all painted on a historically accurate
canvas. Sit back and enjoy the many gifts that are given in this
beautifully written book.