Cover Reveal of In Sight of Stars by Gae Polisner
I say this aloud to Dr. Alvarez — Daubigny’s Garden – for no other reason than it’s there. Or maybe I say it because it’s art, and sometimes that’s all there is.
Dr. Alvarez turns to where its blue-roofed house rises into yellow and blue clouds. “So that’s what it’s called?”
“Yes. But that’s not the real version. Or, at least not the original version.”
“No. In the original there’s a black cat, there, in the foreground.” I point near the bottom of the print. “Just below the lavender area.”
“How interesting!” She twists back to take it in again, before turning back to me. “You know your stuff, don’t you?”
Above is a brief excerpt from the early pages of IN SIGHT OF STARS (St. Martin’s Press/Wednesday Books, March 2018), and Dr. Alvarez will turn out to be right, seventeen-year-old Klee Alden doesn’t know a lot of things, but he sure does know about Van Gogh.
He learned about him from the best, his father, who was the center of his life, a man who introduced Klee to the great museums of New York City and the important artists on their walls, who told him stories made up of myths and magic.
Until his death.
Now, forced to move to the suburbs with his mother, Klee can’t help but feel he’s lost all the identifying parts of himself—his beloved father, weekly trips to the MoMA, and the thrumming energy of New York City. That is until he meets wild and free Sarah in art class, with her quick smiles and jokes about his “brooding.” Suddenly it seems as if she’s the only thing that makes him happy. But when an act of betrayal sends him reeling, Klee lands in what is bitingly referred to as the “Ape Can,” a psychiatric hospital for teens in Northollow.
While there, he undergoes intensive therapy and goes back over the pieces of his life to find out what was real, what wasn’t, and whether he can stand on his own feet again.
(Description, amended some here, courtesy of Wednesday Books catalogue).
To me, IN SIGHT OF STARS is a story about a kid going through a very hard time, a kid who has suffered a brutal loss that has understandably shaken him. A kid who has little room to weather more heartache or loss, and, so, when it hits, it undoes him.
It is a story about being undone, and a story of pulling it all back together again. It is story of those who are there to help us feel whole again.
One of the things I strove to do with the writing of IN SIGHT OF STARS was make certain parts of the story feel as if they were a painting — and more particularly, a Van Gogh painting — come alive. To capture the tumult and emotion in each brushstroke, as if the trees, and crows, and wheat fields of the Auvers countryside, as well as the figures toiling amidst it all, might have lifted from their frames to fill the page.
We also sought with our cover to conjure that tumult and emotion, and to hint at the art of Van Gogh, both direct and referential. More than anything, we wanted a cover that was eye-catching and dramatic, and so I hope we succeeded in that.
I look forward to sharing IN SIGHT OF STARS with readers in March 2018.
Thanks to the Nerdy Book Club for sharing in the excitement with me!
Gae Polisner is the award-winning author of The Memory of Things, The Summer of Letting Go, and The Pull of Gravity. A family law attorney and mediator by trade, but a writer by calling, she lives on Long Island with her husband, two sons, and a suspiciously-fictional-looking small dog she swore she’d never own. She is an avid swimmer, and when she’s not writing, she can be found in a pool, or better yet, in the open waters of the Long Island Sound where she hopes, one day, to sprout gills and become a mermaid. Her next book, In Sight of Stars, comes out Winter 2018 from St. Martin’s Press.