To the Stars Through Difficulties by Romalyn Tilghman is an uplifting story about the strength of collectivity, especially the collective power of women.
To the Stars Through Difficulties follows three different women: Traci, Gayle, and Angelina. Each is dealing with a major life event, or series of life events, that has somehow led them to New Hope, Kansas. Traci has been hired as an artist in residency at the only arts center in New Hope, which also happens to be an old Carnegie library, which Angelina is writing her PhD dissertation on, and which Gayle is attending for therapeutic art classes, provided by Traci. The catch is that Traci has no experience teaching art, though she lied and told the arts center that she did; Gayle’s life was blown away in a tornado and she can’t seem to get her life back together; and Angelina has actually been working on her dissertation for ten years, and the dissertation is going to potentially get dropped by her university.
The Carnegie library turned arts center is the central meeting place not only for these women, but for the ideas that move the book forward. Tilghman weaves together a history of the women who came before Traci, Gayle, and Angelina with the journey of her three protagonists, using the library as the two histories’ point of intersection. In the past, we follow the women who helped make the Carnegie library a reality despite their hard times, while in the present the hardships look a bit different.
Focusing not only on the strength of women but also the power of print and the importance of history, both collective and one’s own, Tilghman leads readers through a maze of mysteries and hardships in To the Stars Through Difficulties.
Slated for release by She Writes Press on April 4, 2017, you can reserve your copy of To the Stars Through Difficulties from your local bookstore.
FTC Disclaimer: This book was given to me in return for a fair and honest review of the text.