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Body of Stars: Searing and thought-provoking - the most addictive novel you'll read all year

Laura Maylene Walter

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

Vox meets The Immortalists in this bold and dazzling exploration of fate and female agency in a world where women own the future but not their own bodies.

'We have a new The Handmaid's Tale... an exciting new literary voice with a dazzling imagination' EMMA KENNEDY
'Compelling, menacing and ultimately uplifting, I fell headlong into the world of Body of Stars' SARAH WARD
'Rapturously written and wildly original, Laura Maylene Walter's debut novel maps the dreams and nightmares of girlhood' EMILYY SCHULTZ
'What a gift Laura Maylene Walter has given us in Body of Stars' ANNE VALENTE


No future, dear reader, can break a woman on its own

A bold and dazzling exploration of fate and female agency in a world where women own the future but not their own bodies.

Like every woman, Celeste Morton holds a map of the future in her skin, every mole and freckle a clue to unlocking what will come to pass. With puberty comes the changeling period - when her final marks will appear and her future is decided.

The possibilities are tantalising enough for Celeste's excitement to outweigh her fear. Changelings are sought after commodities and abduction is rife as men seek to possess these futures for themselves.

Celeste's marks have always been closely entwined with her brother, Miles. Her skin holds a future only he, as a gifted interpreter, can read and he has always considered his sister his practice ground. But when Celeste's marks change she learns a devastating secret about her brother's future that she must keep to herself - and Miles is keeping a secret of his own. When the lies of brother and sister collide, Celeste determines to create a future that is truly her own.

Body of Stars is an urgent read about what happens when women are objectified and violently stripped of choice - and what happens when they fight back.


'Part allegory, part warning, and part celebration of the female body, this is a thrilling and flawlessly crafted debut about the potential women have to hold magic, make magic, and change the course of history with the underestimated weapons of intelligence and love.' Courtney Maum, , author of Touch and Costalegre

'Body of Stars sparks with tenderness and beauty, and Walter's writing on the female body is genuine art. A thought-provoking exploration of fate and forced binaries, this is a book that lingers.' Erika Swyler, author of Light from Other Stars and The Book of Speculation

'Laura Maylene Walter's Body of Stars will be enjoyed as a novel that employs the fantastic to inventively explore both the victimization and the power of women in a world very much like our own, but its central pleasure and achievement may be its depiction of a complicated and extraordinarily moving sibling relationship. In Walter's generous and capable hands, M

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Praise for Body of Stars: Searing and thought-provoking - the most addictive novel you'll read all year

  • Body of Stars sparks with tenderness and beauty, and Walter's writing on the female body is genuine art. A thought-provoking exploration of fate and forced binaries, this is a book that lingers.

  • In Laura Maylene Walter's Body of Stars, women's bodies are their destinies, resulting in a cruel, predatory world for young girls. Yet siblings Celeste and Miles show strength and courage against the malevolent forces surrounding them. Walter writes with tenderness, empathy and beauty. An unusual, bewitching tale.

  • Laura Maylene Walter's Body of Stars will be enjoyed as a novel that employs the fantastic to inventively explore both the victimization and the power of women in a world very much like our own, but its central pleasure and achievement may be its depiction of a complicated and extraordinarily moving sibling relationship. In Walter's generous and capable hands, Miles and Celeste remind us that love often means damage, and that the true test of love is not avoiding that damage, but repairing it when we've caused it.

  • A tender rebuke to the idea that biology is destiny, Body of Stars explores the boundaries of family, identity, and predestination. Through the lens of a complex coming-of-age story, Laura Maylene Walter asks us to consider how we can make the future matter when it seems like we already know its outlines, and what the difference is between the destiny of an individual and the fate of a society.

  • What a gift Laura Maylene Walter has given us in Body of Stars. Through the lens of dystopia, this incandescent debut novel holds a critical mirror up to our world's limitations on gender and the violence of those restraints, while it also forges a bold vision for agency, self-determination and freedom. Through and through, this is a powerful and luminous book.

  • Rapturously written and wildly original, Laura Maylene Walter's debut novel maps the dreams and nightmares of girlhood. Like the best dystopian fiction, Body of Stars is both an allegory of our own world and a door that opens to a better one. Our lives may be written on our bodies, but our futures are not.

  • In Body of Stars, Laura Maylene Walter has created the kind of alternate reality that feels wonderfully, thrillingly strange, until you realize it's all too familiar. This tantalizing, powerful debut bewitched me from page one and left me unable to see our world-not to mention our collective psyche--in quite the same way again.

  • Part allegory, part warning, and part celebration of the female body, this is a thrilling and flawlessly crafted debut about the potential women have to hold magic, make magic, and change the course of history with the underestimated weapons of intelligence and love.

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Laura Maylene Walter

Laura Maylene Walter is an award-winning author whose work has been published in Poets & Writers, Ninth Letter, The Masters Review, and many others. Laura is interested in phenomena she doesn't necessarily believe in and explores her fascination of the stars and fortune-telling in her debut novel, Body of Stars. When she's not writing, you can find her editing for the Cleveland Public Library and the Gordon Square Review, blogging for the Kenyon Review and playing with her two cats, Saucy and Cirrus. Laura enjoys hiking, traveling, camping, indulging in a good beer or glass of wine, and taking long walks in woods and graveyards.

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