About the Book
Germany, 1940. While struggling to survive at an orphanage, young Didi crosses paths with a rebellious, quirky girl who will either help her escape a life of abuse and uncertainty or lead her down an even darker path.
Fast-forward to 1970. With help from a worn leather journal, another young girl learns the story of Didi, who escaped war-torn Germany for a better life in America―except her life didn’t turn out as expected. The stories of these two girls intertwine and eventually collide one Christmas night when Didi, all grown up, finally remembers the secret she buried long ago.
Chasing North Star looks back at a time when four free-range siblings, cigarettes in hand, roamed the streets ’til sunrise and hid from a gun-toting, mentally ill mother who couldn’t help herself. Stingray bicycles, transistor radios, and late nights in the cemetary―just another day in Alamo. That is, until the youngest sibling stumbles upon Didi’s story.
This book is one of those heartbreakingly beautiful stories. It’s a difficult but important read that explores a look at the darker side of humanity. I love getting a chance to take a glimpse into the lives of others and understanding a bit of the suffering people might be forced to endure.
This book deals a lot with mental health and how mental illness was treated in the seventies. Or better yet, the lack of treatment (and don’t even get me started on how this continues today). BUT ACTUALLY, I am going to kind of get started on how this continues today. BECAUSE that makes this book that much more relatable and important.
This is a bleak yet beautiful story of survival and trying to live one’s life amongst hardships. It’s one of those books you just need to pick up and take in (and I don’t want to spoil anything). It’s not an easy read, but its a powerful one.
About the Author
Heidi is the youngest of five kids. She and her husband, Jon live in Kalamazoo, Michigan – just a short drive from Alamo where she grew up. She now owns the family woods that are depicted in Chasing North Star. Her two sons, Tyler and Phillip, are doing great despite being raised by a mother with no formal training.
Embracing all that West Michigan has to offer, Heidi can often be found golfing at her favorite golf course located in her backyard or hanging with her family in town and anywhere along the Lake Michigan shoreline. She remains connected to her siblings and is especially close to her sisters who also live in the area. Michael (Mickey) moved away soon after graduation and currently lives in Seattle, Washington.
Heidi has worked in the media world all her adult life – including time at WWMT. She still works in the marketing and advertising arena, and can often be found working at her favorite golf course. She is also a contributing writer for Women’s LifeStyle of Greater Kalamazoo.
*I received a copy in exchange for an honest review*