Belva Plain’s novel, The Sight of the Stars, takes place in a small Texas town in the early 1900’s.Young and determined to make his own way in life, Adam Arnring gets off the train and within a few hours has landed as a job as manager of a run down store owned by a no-nonsense widow. Through hard work and lots of creativity, Adam transforms the store into a flourishing establishment. Along comes the owner’s daughter, the aloof Emma, and he is mesmerized.
This is a family story that spans a few generations and encompasses the classical emotions of love, betrayal, envy, compassion, and intolerance. Time is seen as the dominant force through out the novel erasing past worries and pain. There is an urgency to put things right before it’s too late.
‘Time hurries by. New green leaves sprout; a season has passed when they brown and fall; all of a sudden, it is another year.’
The time span of the novel and the number of different characters who come in with each new generation make it difficult as a reader to become intimate with any of them–some disappear and are vaguely referred to further on in the story. An interesting historical read.