Idea: Written years after her bestseller that assisted thousands of women to cope with and heal from sexual abuse as children, Davis's memoir about maternal reconciliation is heartfelt, moving, introspective, and beautiful. Davis is an excellent author, bringing to life all the characters in her story through verbal exchanges, actions, and subtle nuance. Her book highlights the delicate relationship with a mother who is simultaneously loving and toxic, and the impacts this relationship has on her life and relationships. The reader can walk away from the book with new perspectives that may assist them in their own complex relationships.
Prose: Davis is a master of prose. From the very start of the memoir, she is able to fill it to the brim with metaphor, figurative language, symbolism, and general eloquence. This book reads like poetry, and is a delight - often visceral, tangible in both its pleasures and pains.
Originality: Mother/daughter relationships are conspicuous for their complexity. Two women, very alike and very different, working through their own power struggles, love, confusion, identities. This dynamic is often riddled with pain, so many books have been written regarding its hills and valleys. Davis has plummeted the reader into the midst of her own fascinating, rich, and trauma-filled life.
Character/Execution: Davis does an excellent job of writing both in first-person limited while still allowing her characters to be very much their own people who change, grow, learn, suffer, and experience joy. The interactions between her characters feel very authentic, and it is easy to follow who is talking to whom during conversations.
Date Submitted: October 01, 2021
“Caregiving an elderly parent, especially against the backdrop of a difficult shared past, can be a bruising spiritual ordeal. We who must travel this territory don’t need any more sentimental narratives about it. What we do need is the healing medicine of truth-telling, and Laura Davis brilliantly and generously gives it to us. I literally could not put this book down.”
“From the opening moment when Laura Davis is called into life by her mother, to their braided, sometimes twisted, often beautiful, long life together, The Burning Light of Two Stars takes us on a journey of two unforgettable, larger-than-life characters. We are pulled into their story and their struggles and read on to know if they will find it within themselves to make peace together. A tour de force of indelible scenes woven together in an innovative structure, it seemed to me that the pages literally turned themselves. Laura Davis’s first book in nineteen years is a major publishing event, not to be missed.”
“Laura Davis hits it out of the park with this epically honest and human memoir. I believe any woman will find value, wisdom, and relief in The Burning Light of Two Stars, but it is especially poignant for mothers and daughters who have struggled, are estranged, and/or are navigating reconciliation. Thankfully, more and more of us are learning that in revealing and speaking the truth, healing, even when it's messy and emotional, can take place. I dare say it's the messy and emotional healing that is the deepest. Thank you Laura Davis for this treasure of a book.”
“This chronicle of estrangement and reconciliation of a daughter’s slow loss of her mother to dementia and death, is really a testament to living and forgiveness. Overcoming a past fraught with misunderstandings and hostilities takes hard work—hard emotional and soul work. Davis masterfully documents this journey while giving the reader a visceral sense of the brevity of time we have in which to let compassion take root. This is a stunning book that shows how, once begun, that rootedness can be nurtured, deepened, and sustained.”
“I was completely captivated by this story. As a reader – it was one of those books you start reading and feel as if you’ve stumbled on a treasure; a book you’re not going to want to end. Every night I found it hard to put down. I was hungry to always read more, to turn each page, and consume each paragraph. The story is brilliant. There is intrigue, emotion, life lessons, and a deep connection to real family life and relationships. I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting a good read—but especially to those living with family estrangement now or in the past.”