Mario Escobar’s ‘Children of the Stars’ Reminds Us That We Are Never Truly Alone [REVIEW]

Paris, France in 1942

Two boys must flee toward freedom when the Nazis occupy Paris in Mario Escobar’s Children of the Stars. (Photo courtesy ww2gallery, Flickr)

A growing threat sweeps across Europe. A loving couple searches for safety. Two brothers flee for their lives. In World War II Paris, meet two boys who will do whatever it takes to reunite with their beloved parents in Mario Escobar’s inspired new novel, Children of the Stars.

Mario Escobar's CHILDREN OF THE STARS

Thomas Nelson

In the heat of August 1942, brothers Jacob and Moses Stein are two Jewish boys staying with their aunt in Paris. Only the City of Light isn’t shining as brightly as it usually does. The Nazis have occupied the land and la rues are not as enchanting as they once were.

As tensions rise across Europe, the boys’ parents, two of Germany’s most beloved playwrights, have gone in search of a safe place to call home. But before the family can be reunited, the French gendarmes arrest the boys per Nazi command, and suddenly they find themselves lost among the country’s many Jews being detained in the horrid Vélodrome d’Hiver.

Aware of just how dire their plight is, the boys escape in order to survive and follow their parents’ letters on a journey that takes them first to the south of France, and ultimately beyond. Along the way, they meet numerous characters, many of whom risk their lives to protect the boys. Theirs is a journey filled with peril. But it is also a tale propelled by hope, heart, faith, and love.

Although there are many stories that have been written about World War II and the Holocaust, there are relatively few that come to mind about the children who lived during that time. Perhaps Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief and Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See are two of the best examples of recent years. And like those novels, Escobar’s latest shows us the world through his two young protagonists’ eyes, and it brings the fear and uncertainty of wartime Europe to vivid life in a way we seldom see.

He captures the chaos that ensues when the gendarmes try to round up all the Jews and load them into buses as well as the palpable desperation that fills the air as families are separated, with little evidence of what will become of them. The boys experience this when they are taken into custody and when they return to their aunt’s apartment only to realize that she is no longer there.

What makes this novel truly memorable, however, is how Escobar demonstrates just how resourceful all of us can be, even the children among us, when pushed to our limits and forced to look for hope where it no longer appears to exist. This is what I loved best about this story, because as we follow the boys on their journey toward reunification with their parents, they are thrust onto an emotional roller coaster that would test the mettle of most of us. But we are capable of much more than we think we are, and this is true of the boys as well, especially as strangers lend them help, shelter, and more. It is a tale that proves we are never truly alone, and that we are strongest when we stand together, keep our faith, and believe in the power of love and family.

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Mario Escobar

Mario Escobar

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mario Escobar has a master’s degree in modern history and has written numerous books and articles about the Inquisition, the Protestant Reformation, and religious sects.

He directs the magazine Nueva Historia Para El Debate, and is also a contributing columnist to various publications.

Passionate about history and its mysteries, he has delved into the depths of church history, the struggle of sectarian groups, and the discovery and colonization of the Americas. He specializes in the lives of unorthodox Spaniards and Americans.

Mario makes his home in Madrid, Spain. Visit his home on the Web at MarioEscobar.es, like him on Facebook, and follow him on Twitter.

CHILDREN OF THE STARS
By Mario Escobar
384 pp. Thomas Nelson. $26.99

TLC Book Tours Tour HostPurchase Children of the Stars at one of these fine online retailers: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Half Price Books, IndieBound, Powell’s, and Thomas Nelson.

Children of the Stars is brought to you in association with TLC Book Tours.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

3 Responses to Mario Escobar’s ‘Children of the Stars’ Reminds Us That We Are Never Truly Alone [REVIEW]

  1. Pingback: Mario Escobar, author of CHILDREN OF THE STARS, on tour February/March 2020 | TLC Book Tours

  2. Sara Strand says:

    I love your comment about being resourceful when we have to, that’s so very true. You just make do with what you have and I think people forget that they can do that. Thanks for being on this tour! Sara @ TLC Book Tours

    • Jathan Fink says:

      Over the years, we’ve had some very lean moments, although nothing close to what they went through during World War II. Still, in hindsight, it always amazes us just how resourceful we can become–and how far we can stretch a buck–when necessary. I always tease my wife that she stretches money so far, she makes pennies scream! 😉

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