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Starlight

Written by: Richard Wagamese
Narrated by: Wesley French
Length: 6 hrs and 28 mins
4.6 out of 5 stars (162 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

NATIONAL BEST SELLER

The final novel from Richard Wagamese, the best-selling and beloved author of Indian Horse and Medicine Walk, centres on an abused woman on the run who finds refuge on a farm owned by an Indigenous man with wounds of his own. A profoundly moving novel about the redemptive power of love, mercy, and compassion - and the land's ability to heal us.

Frank Starlight has long settled into a quiet life working his remote farm, but his contemplative existence comes to an abrupt end with the arrival of Emmy, who has committed a desperate act so she and her child can escape a harrowing life of violence. Starlight takes in Emmy and her daughter to help them get back on their feet, and this accidental family eventually grows into a real one. But Emmy's abusive ex isn't content to just let her go. He wants revenge and is determined to hunt her down. 

Starlight was unfinished at the time of Richard Wagamese's death, yet every minute radiates with his masterful storytelling, intense humanism, and insights that are as hard-earned as they are beautiful. With astonishing scenes set in the rugged backcountry of the BC Interior, and characters whose scars cut deep even as their journey toward healing and forgiveness lifts us, Starlight is a last gift to audiences from a writer who believed in the power of stories to save us.

"Starlight feels fully formed.... The prose is both musical and hard-edged, bending to match the rhythms of life in the wild, on the farm and in the desolate skid-row bards of distant cities. A captivating and ultimately uplifting read, and the last we'll enjoy from on of our best writers." (Toronto Star)

©2018 Richard Wagamese (P)2018 McClelland & Stewart

What the critics say

"[A] triumph.... This is an important story to know and to experience, from an artist cut down at the height of his powers." (Winnipeg Free Press)

"A wonderful and moving story, both tragic and hopeful." (Regina Leader-Post)

"What Wagamese does with this novel is set stunning scenes and deliver a moving story about the power of family even if it is an accidental one." (Vancouver Sun)

What listeners say about Starlight

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  • Overall
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    5 out of 5 stars

Didn't want it to end - and it didn't

The fear and foreboding of the story line gripped me to the final hour. Of course I couldn't cheat and peek at the last chapter because it is being read to me. I waited for a quiet daytime hour to listen, sitting in the sunshine4, and remaining stock still for a long time after the last words were spoken. Long a fan of Canadian writers, I am now consumed with the works of Wagamese and others, while I, a Colonialist suffer guilt, shame - but enduring hope for redemption. I recall the words of my Grannie Jameson in Melfort, Saskatchewan who spoke quite plainly: you know dear, if it weren't for the Indian women, your Daddy would never have survived childbirth. She was a pioneer UELoyalist from Boston, I was born in Nipawin in 1938 and raised in P.A. along with lots of Indian kids whose friendship I embraced.

8 people found this helpful

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Incomplete

Excellent as all books by Richard Wagamese. But warning! It’s incomplete. I didn’t realize when I got it, he seems to have gotten half way through writing it and passed away 😓 Thank you for the addition of some of his short stories.

3 people found this helpful

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Beautiful and heart-wrenching

Oh, how I enjoyed this book. The sheer beauty of the words and images created, juxtaposed against the plain and simple dialogue of the characters made it a feast for the senses. I feel like I have been on a journey to the wild as a result. The world lost a great gem when Richard Wagamese passed away last year.

2 people found this helpful

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Beautifully written

I enjoyed the detailed descriptions of being in nature, the sound, sights and smells. It makes you feel as though you are there. I will looking for more books by this author.

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  • LG
  • 2018-09-03

Beautiful

Calming, deep and profound. This author has a way of weaving a magical story through you. Always has. This last book is a crowing jewel and the ending is done with more integrity than I could have imagined. The narrator adds to the story and is voice and tone perfectly match and add to the story. Thank you ♥️

1 person found this helpful

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Beautiful story

The imagery painted by Richard Wagamese's words is vivid and almost shockingly real. His words take us out into the back country to experience the beauty and soulfulness of the land. Likewise he shows us how a relationship between a man and a woman, who has been abused by men all her life, can blossom with love, gentleness and the healing power of the land and the animals that live there. I have never listened to an entire book in one day before, as I did with this one. The narrator did an awesome job of relating the story which makes an audio book a great way to experience this book. It's unfortunate that Richard was not able to complete the book only because I did not want his words to ever stop. However that does not detract from the telling of the story. It is a very worthwhile listen!!

1 person found this helpful

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Beautiful

A beautifully crafted story. The descriptive narrative makes you feel like you're there, on the land, with Starlight.

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narration sucks

can't even listen as the narration is too fast. totally disappointed after Indian Horse.

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Thoroughly enjoyed this Canadian author.

I am ashamed to say I was unaware of Residential schools until listening to Richard Wagamese’s book Indian Horse. Coincidentally I now live in Brantford where the 6 Nations here have kept the school open as a museum. Listening to Starlight was .... calming. I was transported out of the rat race I live in to another world. This book is a a reminder- whatever your lot in life, you can make changes.

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thankful for this story

Beautifully written and wonderfully narrated. One of my favourite story tellers of all time.