by Lynn Hanna

August 2003 Reissue
ISBN: 1-59105-211-4
Reviewer Graphic Button Novel Books Inc.

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Eight year old Sasha Nielson hasn't spoken since the death of her father. Expert advice from doctors and therapists didn't help her. Her mother, Rainey, was slowly reaching the end of her rope. Authorities were threatening to take Sasha away because of her baffling behavior which bordered on dangerous, especially during thunderstorms. Rainey feared the worst and time seemed to be running out.

Then by accident, Rainey's Scottish neighbor saw a video that was taken at one of Sasha's birthday parties before her father died. Sasha was speaking a language unrecognizable to most people. But the neighbor understood. Emma urged Rainey to get in touch with Matt Macinnes, a professor of ancient languages. From the moment he met Sasha, Matt felt he knew the answer to Sasha's silence. The secrets that lay hiden in Sasha's mind and heart were going to test the faith of the mother who loves her.

The Starry Child is a wonderful mixture of ancient Celtic lore and modern cynicism. Rainey's desperate attempt to help her daughter touches a chord in anyone, whether you are a mother or not. We can also understand her disbelief in legends. Matt's inabiltiy to move on in his life and forgive himself adds dimension to his character. Most of Ms. Hanna's characters are well-developed. The villians are the only ones that seem two dimensional, but since they are seen for only a brief interlude, they don't need to have depth. Ms. Hanna has researched the wonderful and haunting mythology of the Celts. Her use of the lyrical language of the ancient Celts is brillant in creating a fairy tale world in which Sasha travels.

Ultimately, the story is about having faith in the people you love. It's about believing in things that you never knew existed and have never seen. A mother's love for her child and an ancient Queen's love for her people are woven together with a smooth touch. Allowing all of us to take a journey to the ancient past.

Reviewed in July 2003 by Jenni.

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