The Burning Light of Two Stars

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A book review of The Burning Light of Two Stars: a Mother Daughter Story by Laura Davis

A book review of The Burning Light of Two Stars: a Mother Daughter Story by Laura Davis

Stars: ****

Girl Friday Books (2021)
368 pages

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This post contains affiliate links.

Summary: This riveting memoir by Laura Davis, the author of The Courage to Heal, examines the endurance of mother-daughter love, how memory protects and betrays us, and the determination it takes to fulfill a promise when ghosts from the past come knocking.

When she published The Courage to Heal in 1988, Laura Davis helped more than a million women work through the trauma of childhood sexual abuse. But her decision to go public with her grandfather’s incest deepened an already painful estrangement with her mother, Temme.

Over the next twenty years, from a safe distance of three thousand miles, Laura and Temme reconciled their volatile relationship and believed that their difficult past was behind them. But when Temme moves across the country to entrust her daughter with the rest of her life, she brings a faltering mind, a fierce need for independence, and the seeds of a second war between them. As the stresses of caregiving rekindle Laura’s rage over past betrayals, they threaten her intention to finally love her mother “without reservation.” Will she learn what it means to be truly openhearted before it’s too late?

The Burning Light of Two Stars

Although I haven’t read the author’s famous book The Courage to Heal, I am aware of it as someone I know read it. You certainly don’t have to have read it to read this. It’s a book all it’s own. If you don’t know, Courage to Heal is for survivors of sexual abuse.

The Burning Light of Two Stars is a story of hope. It shows what even with a troublesome past, sometimes repairs can be slowly made to a relationship. Of course that may not be the case with everyone in a similar situation, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

I lent the book to the person I know who read Courage to Heal. Here is what she had to say:

“I loved this book. Because I felt a kindred spirit with the author based on our experiences. And because I’ve felt estranged from all of my birth family. I liked the way she went back and forth on her timeline, it worked for the story. I even had a sister who died that I never got to know. I don’t usually read all the dedications and such from a book but I read them all (except for the book club questions).  She’s a wonderful writer and I think she’s a wonderful person. I can’t wait to read the scenes that ended on the cutting room floor and fully intend to sign up for her newsletter.”


As mentioned above, the book goes back and forth to different time periods. Some books are better off sequentially. This one was right I think to do it this way. Although the memoir is more about fixing the relationship with her mom than her past, you need to know what happened to understand their relationship. So by jumping back and forth you can see Laura’s relationship with her mom at different times, and in different circumstances.

If you have a strained relationship with someone, especially if it’s because of sexual abuse, this is a must read. However even if none of those are true, it’s a well written memoir and one you may want to pick up.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.