Penny used to be a happy, carefree girl. Thirteen years earlier her Mum died leaving Penny, her younger brother Brad and her father Rodney as a tight family unit. Then Brad got killed. As the novel opens Penny is angry. She is angry with Brad for dying. She is angry with God for letting Brad die. And she is angry with Trevor for employing and encouraging Brad to pursue his dream. “Some days it felt as if anger would eat her up from the inside out.” Penny needs to let her anger go. She needs to take it to God so she can begin to live again.
Tied up with the theme of anger is that of guilt. Penny feels “guilty for being alive and having a future… she expected to pay a penalty for living on.” Penny does not believe she deserves happiness because she is still alive. How easy it is as a reader to empathise with Penny, one feels guilty when one smiles again after a loved one has passed. Penny needs to forgive the face in the mirror. She is tied to the past by her guilt. Again she needs to give her guilt to God in order to move on from her imprisonment in the past.
Keeper of the Stars also has the theme of dreams. Everyone has a dream, some just don’t realise it yet, and some people’s dreams change. Brad had a dream to be a drummer. He pursued that dream, but more than that he pursued God.
Brad was a godly young man. He was not a Sunday Christian, he lived out his faith. Christ shone through Brad. People were attracted to him because he had something different. He had Jesus. Trevor saw “the difference between calling himself a Christian and truly being one.” Trevor wants to have a faith like Brad. He wants to pursue God.
The novel explores the difference between going to church and being a Christian. Trevor’s father used to go to church but it didn’t make him a Christian as he did not live out his faith.
Robin Lee Hatcher shows in Keeper of the Stars the different types of families and fathers. Brad and Penny grew up in a loving home with a father who encouraged them. In contrast with Trevor who had a difficult relationship with his father who always put him down. How our earthly fathers treat us often affects how we view God our father but He will never let us down.
Inspite of the fact that Brad died before the novel opened, the reader gets to know Brad. There are flashbacks to events over the years that are seen from Brad’s viewpoint as well as the reader seeing how other characters respond to Brad and his memory. The main body of the novel is written in the third person from the points of view of both Penny and Trevor. All the main characters were likeable and as a reader I could empathise with them all.
I thoroughly enjoyed Keeper of the Stars. It was a wonderful story on the surface but it went so much deeper. It was a study of faith in God Who wants His children to know Him intimately and walk daily with Him. I did not want the novel to end and am hoping for more in the series.
Keeper of the Stars will make you smile. It will make you cry. And hopefully it will strengthen your faith in God Who loves you.
I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review. No monetary compensation was received and all views expressed are my own.