Shame the Stars

By Foreword Reviews

In this riveting historical novel, eighteen-year-old Joaquín del Toro has everything he could possibly dream of: a rich inheritance, a beautiful girl he is madly in love with, and the esteem and love of his family. But when trouble arises on the Mexico-Texas border in 1915, Joaquín’s world is changed irreparably. Not only does Joaquín lose his love, Dulceña, as their families fight in the midst of the new conflicts, but Joaquín is suddenly faced with a moral dilemma unlike any he ever faced. Should he support the Texas Rangers, who are fighting Tejano insurgents, and whom his father staunchly supports? Or should he take a stand against the Rangers, especially when they turn their attention to Joaquín’s own home?

Shame the Stars is a richly imagined historical novel that focuses on the complicated politics and fortunes of one family in particular. Loosely based on Romeo and Juliet, the story looks at the shifting alliances and suspicions during the period of Mexico’s revolution, and the complicated figures of the Texas Rangers. The style of the prose is simple yet effective, with rich details from the time period in which the novel is set. McCall adds additional flavor to the work in the form of letters, journal entries, and newspaper clippings that further enhance the story and give a sense of the immediacy and urgency of the conflict.

Perfect for fans of both retellings and historical fiction, Shame the Stars is a fast-moving drama that, while drawing on one of Shakespeare’s most famous works, plays by its own rules.