A Field of Stars
A Field of Stars tells the story of thirteen-year-old Lily Patterson and her violent father Ben Patterson. Lily is trying to get her mother Ruth Patterson to leave her father and take Lily and her brothers, Davey and Jeffrey. She tries to find a safe place where she does not have to fear she or someone in her family is about to die from her father's violence.
The book tells the story also of Ben Patterson, of his childhood with a violent mother and of his young life lived in severe poverty. As a child Ben and his family stayed at times in abandoned railroad cars whenever their house flooded. They were hungry and poor especially after the death of Ben's father.
The book shows how child abuse is handed down from one generation to another and presents a portrait of a man who is in agony over his violence.
Lily dreams of going to college and becoming a social worker. She is very shy and has severe psychological problems due to the violence she has experienced.