Book review: ‘A Star in the Face of the Sky,’ by David Haynes
It’s a macabre headline: Keisha Davis murders her preacher husband and three of her children to save them from the devil. “They’re like angels, Mama,” she reports in a phone call to her mother. “Wrapped in white, that He may receive them.”
Keisha’s oldest son, Daniel, was in his grandmother’s care when she killed the rest of the family, and the grandmother’s efforts to give him a full, normal life are the foundation for this beautifully scripted novel.
David Haynes’ story is a study in resilience and strength; it’s about coming to terms with the past. But mostly, it’s about love — between friends, family, lovers, even between those who love and the ones who fail to reciprocate that love. It’s about how this force pulls us through dark times and buoys us in good.
Haynes, author of six other novels and several children’s books, is Southern Methodist University’s creative writing director. His prose is rich, multilayered and often lyrical with lines worthy of re-reading. But his greatest strength is the depth he gives his characters. Man, woman, black, Jewish — all are nuanced and believable.