by Grace Lin
Rendi has run away from home – gone as far as he can to be away from his father, Magistrate Tiger as he possibly can. His father, hoping to become an important man, bullies everyone around him with his arrogant and dishonest challenges. His tricks and plans seem to get him what he wants, but Rendi cannot bear to be part of the deceit. Although it means leaving his mother and sister behind, Rendi’s anger at being used and discarded gets the best of him and he set off. His journey brings him to the City of Clear Sky. He finds a job as chore boy in the Inn and here questions and stories unfold around him. They make him wonder about choices – his choices. Where has the innkeeper’s son gone? Is Peiyi angry or sad? Why is she concerned about leaving? Why do neighbors argue, when working together they could find a solution? Is it possible that Mr. Shan cannot tell the difference between a rabbit and a toad? Where is the moon and why does no one else notice it is missing? And mostly, what is the sound, the crying and haunts Rendi everywhere he goes?
An elegant lady comes to the Inn and Reyndi wonders why she has chosen to stay there. At once enchanted by her stories and the ease she brings to their lives, Rendi begins to understand that people are revealed by the stories they tell. He learns that many stories can be understood different ways – one story may have as many different meanings as there are listeners. Finally Rendi’s questions are answered and he knows what he must do.
Readers of Starry River of the Sky will smile as they discover how the threads from each story told are woven together to create a rich tapestry combining China’s ancient tales with our contemporary lives to create a new, completely satisfying story challenge, friendship and love. Mountains, the moon, toads and journeys play an important role in Grace Lin’s new book – a companion to When the Mountain Meets the Moon. You’re sure to love to journey as you begin to wonder what you reveal through the stories you share and tell.
Grace Lin shares how she came to write this story and how her favorite fairy tales and legends combine in her telling. Click here to hear what she has to tell.