The Wide Starlight


Honored as a 2022 Massachusetts Book Awards Must-Read
Selected as one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Books of 2021

Published by Penguin/Razorbill
Recommended for ages 12+

When Eli was six years old, her mother took her out onto a frozen fjord, whistled to the Northern Lights, and was swept away into the sky. Ten years later, Eli whistles at the lights and her mother returns, but nothing is quite right. She must piece together her memories, told as Norwegian folk tales, and journey back to Svalbard to figure out what really happened.

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“With her vividly rendered settings, emotionally complex characters, and sweet and sinister magical realism, Lesperance may be a promising successor to Alice Hoffman. . . . Sharp and snow-dusted yet strangely cozy; a comforting winter’s read.”
Kirkus, starred review

“The pages fly by as Lesperance’s compelling voice and masterful switching between present-day narrative and fairy-tale past smoothly build a portrait of intergenerational love, loss, and magic rooted in a glittering Arctic landscape.”
BCCB, starred review

“Lesperance’s writing never misses a beat, plunging scenes further and further into a world of intense magic and ambiguity. It all leads into a poignant finale that is so breathtaking it transcends description.” 
– BookStacked

“Nicole Lesperance blends crystalline prose, an atmospheric setting and memorable characters to create a story that dances and shines as brightly as the northern lights in her debut YA novel, The Wide Starlight.”
– BookPage

“This mesmerizing and sometimes heartbreaking fantasy reveals the complicated relationships between mothers and daughters while exploring mental illness, loss, regret, guilt, and forgiveness. . . . A haunting contemporary fantasy inspired by Norwegian fairy tales set on Cape Cod and on an island off Norway’s coast.”
School Library Journal

“This is an emotionally complex tale of the love between mothers and daughters that balances between ominous and cozy, with well-realized characters and a picturesque Norwegian setting.”