The Movement of Stars

The Movement of Stars


Amy Brill's The Movement of Stars tells a story of illicit love and extraordinary ambition.

It is 1845, and Hannah Gardner Price dreams of a world infinitely larger than the small Quaker community where she has lived all 25 years of her life - for, as an amateur astronomer, she secretly hopes to discover a comet and win the King of Denmark's prize for doing so.

But she can only indulge her passion for astronomy as long as the men in her life - her father, brother and family friends - are prepared to support it, and so she treads a fine line between pursuing her dreams and submitting to the wishes and expectations of those around her. That line is crossed when Hannah meets Isaac Martin, a young black whaler from the Azores.

Isaac, like Hannah herself, has ambitions beyond his station. Drawn to him despite their differences, Hannah agrees to tutor him in the art of navigation. As their shared passion for the stars develops into something deeper, however, Hannah's standing in the community is called into question, and she has to choose: her dreams or her heart.

Loosely inspired by the work of Maria Mitchell, the first American woman to become a professional astronomer, The Movement of Stars is, at its heart, a glorious - and unusual - love story. With shades of Chocolat and Remarkable Creatures, it will appeal to fans of Tracy Chevalier, Joanne Harris and Rose Tremain.

'Blazes with real feeling and intensity. A terrifically poised and captivating debut' Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife

'Spectacular . . . I cheered for Hannah Price, our feisty heroine, as she unraveled the mystery of her own desires while burning a trail for other women to follow' Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief

'A bittersweet story, movingly told' Daphne Kalotay, author of Russian Winter

Amy Brill lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two daughters. This is her first novel.


  • In Hannah, Amy Brill has fashioned an extraordinary character and quiet hero -- a woman who charts her own course, and who places knowledge and her own soul's independence up with the highest, brightest stars . . . The love story at the heart of this novel heart blazes with real feeling and intensity. A terrifically poised and captivating debut
    Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife

About the author

Amy Brill

Amy Brill is an award-winning writer and producer who has worked for PBS and MTV. Her fiction and nonfiction have been published in Salon, Guernica, Time Out New York, and Redbook, among others, and anthologized in Before and After: Stories from New York and Lost and Found. She has won fellowships in fiction from the Edward Albee Foundation, Jentel, the Millay Colony, Fundacion Valparaíso, the Constance Saltonstall Foundation, and the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, MA. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two small daughters. The Movement of Stars is her first novel.
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