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Lone Star: A Novel
     

Lone Star: A Novel

4.5 2
by Paullina Simons
 

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From the bestselling, acclaimed author of Tully and The Bronze Horseman comes the unforgettable love story between a college-bound young woman and a traveling troubadour on his way to war—a moving, compelling novel of love lost and found set against the stunning backdrop of Eastern Europe.

Chloe is just weeks away from heading off to college

Overview

From the bestselling, acclaimed author of Tully and The Bronze Horseman comes the unforgettable love story between a college-bound young woman and a traveling troubadour on his way to war—a moving, compelling novel of love lost and found set against the stunning backdrop of Eastern Europe.

Chloe is just weeks away from heading off to college and starting a new life far from her home in Maine when she embarks on a great European adventure with her boyfriend and two best friends. Their destination is Barcelona, but first they must detour through the historic cities of Eastern Europe to keep an old family promise.

Here, in this fledgling post-Communist world, Chloe meets a charming American vagabond named Johnny, who carries a guitar, an easy smile—and a lifetime of secrets. From Treblinka to Trieste, from Karnikava to Krakow, from Vilnius to Venice, the unlikely band of friends and lovers traverse the old world on a train trip that becomes a treacherous journey into Europe’s and Johnny’s darkest past—a journey that jeopardizes Chloe’s plans for the future and all she ever thought she wanted.

But the lifelong bonds Chloe and her friends share are about to be put to the ultimate test—and whether or not they reach Barcelona, they can only be certain that their lives will never be the same again.

A sweeping, beautiful tale that mesmerizes and enchants, Lone Star will linger long in the memory once the final page is turned.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
10/19/2015
Veteran author Simons stumbles in this coming-of-age romance about four Maine teenagers and the European adventure that changes their lives. Chloe Divine has spent half her life dreaming of going to Barcelona with her best friend, Hannah. They finally make the attempt their summer before college, with boyfriends in tow, and tack on a detour to Eastern Europe. The story suffers from characters rife with all the irritating immaturity of their youth while burdened with an implausible middle-aged introspection. It collapses under the weight of overwrought prose: “Reading about Barcelona burst her heart into a flame.” The foursome are insufferable by the time they reach Latvia, a quality that is exacerbated when Johnny Rainbow waltzes into their lives with a guitar on his back and a foreshadowing tremor in his hands. Fortunately, Johnny rescues the story, letting the focus expand to the history and beauty of their setting, where Simons’s strength as a storyteller comes into play. Chloe’s growing passion for Johnny and dread in the face of a clearly doomed romance turns a clunky, irritating slog into an engrossing epic with a too-tidy ending. (Dec.)
Happy Ever After blog
“A moving, compelling novel of love lost and found set against the stunning backdrop of Eastern Europe.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062098153
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
11/24/2015
Pages:
640
Sales rank:
332,821
Product dimensions:
5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.92(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Paullina Simons is an internationally bestselling author whose novels include Bellagrand and The Bronze Horseman was born in Leningrad in 1963. As a child she immigrated to Queens, New York, and attended colleges in Long Island. Then she moved to England and attended Essex University, before returning to America. She lives in New York with her husband and children.

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Lone Star 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
lt will never top The Bronze Horseman but this was dang good!
Honolulubelle More than 1 year ago
Favorite Quotes: “Is that what they called karma? Or was it simply what happened next?” “Chloe didn’t know where to start. That she didn’t know how to start was more vital.” “She had kept her dreams deliberately small, thinking they might be easier to realize, but now feared she hadn’t kept them small enough.” “There was something about Johnny Rainbow that pierced her heart with both sorrow and gladness, cut apart the place which all of herself came from.” “How do the rest of us stay so wrapped up in our own heads and lives and hearts and problems that we don’t see what’s a breath away from us?” “She can barely remember what he looks like, but she cannot forget what she felt like when she looked at him.” My Review: When I signed on and even started reading the impressive tome of Lone Star, I expected to be reading about people living in or from Texas. I was so very very wrong. Texas was on the only state the boy with the Lone Star tattoo claimed he had never traversed. So instead of Texas, we meet the character with the Lone Star tattoo in Europe, Latvia of all places. I must admit, before I picked up this book, what I knew of Latvia would be a shameful reflection of my public school education… nothing, I knew nothing. I know a considerable amount about it now, and I enjoyed the lesson and the journey, even though the travel for the characters was rather harrowing and tedious, terrifying, and exciting. The plot being 4 new high school graduates/life-long friends/neighbors/now couples, embarked on a European adventure sponsored by one girl’s grandmother - with the provision that they visit grandmother’s relatives and seek out the areas and pay tribute to the death camps where her childhood friends were interred. Gruesome granny if you ask me, but she paid for the travel for the 4 broke teen-agers, so of course they agreed to her terms. Their travel was arduous due to the unreliable transit systems; their accommodations were generally unsavory and abominable (hostels); and their tempers and relationships were stressed and tested to the breaking point. They missed connections, they fought, they were robbed, stranded, fell in love, were heartbroken, and unearthed unforgivable betrayals. Secrets – everyone has them – but close quarters and stressful conditions tends to fray even nerves of steel and loosen the tongue – of course they imploded. The story was long yet well-written and engrossing, and despite the youthful characters, I was never bored. Ms. Simon obviously well remembers the painful discomforts, self-consciousness, and insecurities of that age. Her writing is smart, observant, insightful, and thoughtful. I experienced a full range of deeply felt emotion as I read. I laughed aloud several times, I was thrilled and excited by their adventures and discoveries, but at other times my heart was squeezed and also broken, I was frequently anxious, and then just devastated, yet I thoroughly entertained throughout. Hours later I was still contemplating the complexity of the story, and a day later I continued to mull - unable to move on to another book and ruing the lack of an epilogue. To boil down this long review – it was exquisite.