Saturday, April 21, 2012

Stardust-Carla Stewart


Carla Stewart

FaithWords, May 15 2012, $13.99

ISBN: 9781455504282

In 1952 in Mayhaw, Texas, Georgia Peyton finds the note her Book of Knowledge encyclopedia salesman husband O’Dell left her in the sugar bowl. O’Dell informed her he left her and their two daughters (Rosey and Avril) because he found a woman who appreciates him. Two months later Georgia buries her runaway spouse whose body was found by the Zion.

Georgia was three years old when her parents left her at the Stardust Motel. Her Aunt Cora raised her while the motel owners Doreen and Paddy always welcomed her. O’Dell’s life insurance beneficiary is Fiona Callahan. Sheriff Bolander informs Georgia that Paddy died from cancer. She learns Paddy left the Stardust to her. Doreen fears for her great-niece who she loves like a daughter as running a highway motel is dangerous for a woman. Instead of selling the run down motel, Georgia decides to prove herself by making it successful. To her shock, Georgia’s grieving mother-in-law Mary Frances moves into one of the Stardust’s cabins. Korean veteran Peter Reese and his dog Sebastian stop at the Stardust and makes repairs. An ailing pregnant woman with a young daughter Bonnie arrives at the Stardust. The woman goes to the hospital while Georgia watches the child of the last woman she wants to help.

Putting micro economics aside, Stardust is an enjoyable historical starring a wonderful but besieged single mom whose motel is a magnet to a horde of tousled people. The motel has a metaphysical life of its own with its symbolic flickering lights while each resident is fully developed as each enhances the reader’s stay at the motel. Still this is Georgia’s tale as she muses to forgive or not forgive; that is the question.

Harriet Klausner

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