Wrapped in the Stars by Elena Mikalsen
Struggling with guilt over her sister’s death and the stress of her medical residency, Maya Radelis runs away to Scotland. A robin seems to lead her to an antique shop, where she finds a century-old engagement ring. But what is the ring’s history? She follows the slim paper trail, wondering if it is only coincidence that her dreams reveal the story of a Swiss woman physician who wore the ring during World War I. In Paris she meets fellow New Yorker David Fischer, a lawyer with family in Switzerland as well as America. He helps Maya follow the memories stored in the ring as they lead her around Europe. The attraction between David and Maya grows, and when they discover a connection between the ring and David’s family, they learn, bit by bit, more about the ring’s earlier owner. Will Maya’s own life have the same tragedy of lost love?
Wrapped in the Stars by Elena Mikalsen is a beautiful tale of love, anguish, and destiny, written with a touch of magic realism. It’s modern day time and Maya Radelis travels to Edinburgh, Scotland after a tragedy at her hospital where she is doing her residency. She is ridden with guilt and blame and is trying to escape her emotions. A robin emerges which leads Maya to an antique shop where she discovers a beautiful vintage moonstone ring. She is immediately drawn towards the ring and compelled to buy it.
She then begins to have mental flashbacks and memories, of a time in history, and that are not her own. She is entranced by the ring and finds herself traveling throughout Europe in search of the meaning behind the woman who previously owned the ring. While in Paris, she meets David, a New Yorker as well, and has an immediate attraction. David wants to help her with her search. From there, Elena and David travel to Switzerland where they discover they have more in common than they expected. They uncover a parallel connecting the ring to David’s family and begin to learn more about its original owner.
From there we begin to meet Rebecca, the ring’s original owner. It is back in time during World War l, 1911. Rebecca is a young Swiss woman that wants to become a doctor. She is determined, although her parents don’t support her decision to go to medical school. They insist that she find a husband and marry. During her time at medical school, she meets a poor Russian student and falls deeply in love. Out of his love for her, he gives Rebecca the ring. Does the ring have a connection between the two women? Is the ring magical?
Wrapped in the Stars is a passionate, engaging story that weaves two timelines together to form a beautiful tapestry of love and fate. It is full of history and intrigue. It is written with a unique voice and proficiency. I loved it and couldn’t put it down. The way that Elena Mikalsen so aptly combines the present with the past is beyond reasoning. She merges the two young women’s lives together in unanticipated and distinct ways. I was floored by the amount of historical research that was put into this story. We learn about the history of women in the field of medicine, the Russian Revolution, European social history and more. I learned a lot while reading this splendid novel.
The scenery is picturesque, defined and striking, as we are lead from New York to Paris to Switzerland and more. I felt like I was there experiencing the same things as Maya and Rebecca. At the core of the book is an exquisite love story. A love that surpasses all boundaries and hindrances. It’s a mysterious magical tale that takes readers on a journey to beautiful places, and through time and history and back to the present day. I was hooked from the very beginning and remained engaged throughout the entire book. It is intelligent, yet easy to read. There are surprises and many things that I didn’t see coming which made it so interesting and entertaining. One would never know that Wrapped in the Stars is a debut novel. It surpassed my expectations and I highly recommend it to all avid readers.
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