Fifteen year old Gracian is in love with the stars. He sneaks out of the house at night whenever he can to gaze at the sky. Being in Germany-occupied Poland during World War II, this is pretty dangerous. His brother Pawel forbids him from going out again, so instead Gracian focuses his attention on his brother, who has a mysterious past. While the family struggles to survive during war time, Gracian wants to understand who his brother really is.
Where this short book lacks in plot, it makes up for in writing style. There's not a whole heck of a lot happening in this book, the first half of the book is spent describing the family dynamics and how life is for them in WWII Poland. The second half of the book is about Pawel. But really, most of the book should have been about Pawel since it's the story of how Gracian learns about his brother.
The writing style is very fluid and quite graceful. It's unfortunate that it couldn't be married with a good story line.
First Line: "On an autumn night in 1940, one year into German occupation, in a Polish mining village called Malenkowice within the area known as Upper Silesia, a fifteen-year-old boy named Gracian Sofka sat poised and upright in his bed watching his sleeping brother."