Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 203
Beyond The Mapped Stars
(Updated: September 10, 2021)
Overall rating
Writing Style
Elizabeth Bertelsen loves the stars. More than anything she wants to go to school and study them, but her Mormon family has other plans which include marriage and a family. When an opportunity comes for her to help her older sister in Wyoming, she goes. After a train robbery, she finds more paths open for her. Along the way she struggles with whether she can still have her faith and be a scientist. Will she be strong enough to find her own path?

What worked: Loved the historical descriptions, but especially the struggles a young Mormon girl experiences during 1878. The author nails the conflict and how hard it was for some during this time to reconcile a woman wanting a career and also being true to her faith.

There’s so much to love about this novel. Eves shows how the rest of the US felt toward the Mormon church at this time. I especially like how she shows not only what the family endeared but the positive aspects too. There is nothing stereotypical about this portrayal which is refreshing.

I also liked the hint of romance between Elizabeth and her neighbor Samuel. These scenes help readers see the struggles Elizabeth has with her heart and her dreams.

There are notes at the back of the novel that goes over the history of the Mormon church in 1878, along with the key historical figures. I feel these are important for those who aren’t aware of the history and what the historical climate was like during 1878. Along with that, there are interesting facts and historical characters who played a part in the 1878 eclipse and the conflicts directed toward women who wanted to pursue their dreams of being astronomers in a mostly male-filled profession.

Riveting historical set in 1878 Utah where a Mormon girl struggles with her dream of being an astronomer and the path her family and community expect of her.

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