The Same Bright Stars: A Novel (Paperback)
Coming Soon - Available for Pre-Order
From the author of the Read with Jenna Bonus Pick A Little Hope, an uplifting and emotionally resonant novel set in a Delaware beach town about a local restaurant owner at a turning point.
Three generations of Schmidts have run their family’s beachfront restaurant and Jack has been at the helm since the death of his father. Jack puts the demands of the restaurant above all else, with a string of failed relationships, no hobbies, and no days off as proof of his commitment to the place. He can’t remember the last time he sat on the beach, or even enjoyed a moment to himself.
Meanwhile, the DelDine group has been gradually snapping up beloved eateries along this stretch of coast and are pursuing Jack with a very generous offer to take Schmidt’s off his hands.
Jack craves companionship and maybe even a family. He wonders if closing the door on the restaurant might open a new window for him. But who would he be without Schmidt’s, and can he trust DelDine’s claims that they will continue to employ his staff and honor his family’s legacy?
When he receives startling news from the past, Jack begins to reshape his life and forge unexpected new friendships. But will he really let go of the very things that have defined him?
About the Author
Ethan Joella teaches English and psychology at the University of Delaware. He is the author of A Little Hope, which was a Read with Jenna Bonus Selection, A Quiet Life, and The Same Bright Stars. He lives in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, with his wife and two daughters.
Praise for The Same Bright Stars
"I recognized and rooted for all the wonderful small-town characters in this moving story about a man at a crossroads in his life. Ethan Joella skillfully explores how grief shapes us, and he captures those perfect moments of human connection we all crave." —Tracey Lange, author of We Are the Brennans
"Ethan Joella writes with wisdom and emotional precision about the ache to feel alive and the unexpected ways relationships comfort, devastate and transform us. Absorbing, tender and filled with heart, The Same Bright Stars moved me with its unwavering hope." —Hanna Halperin, author of I Could Live Here Forever
"With his signature heart, hopefulness and hard-won wisdom, Ethan Joella more than delivers in The Same Bright Stars. Readers will laugh, cry, and dream alongside the earnest, sentimental Jack and his instantly lovable, warm-hearted community of Rehoboth Beach natives, a town that sparkles to life from the very first page. With his story of family, grief, legacy, and perseverance, Joella has crafted a sensational summer read. I will forever feel lucky to read (and yes, unabashedly weep over!) anything Joella. writes." —Becky Chalsen, author of Kismet
Praise for A Quiet Life
"Community and grief are at the center of this tender novel in which three residents of a tightly knit Pennsylvania suburb are each grappling with losing loved ones when their lives begin to converge in unexpected ways." —The New York Times Book Review
“Ethan Joella's A Quiet Life explores the depths of grief through a widower, the daughter of a murder victim, and the mother of a kidnapping victim…As their lives begin to converge, Chuck, Ella, and Kirsten walk unique roads to find their way to healing.” —PopSugar
“Once again, Joella’s characters are as real as they come. With an observant eye and poetic sensitivity, Joella captures poignant moments and intense feelings, leaving the reader with a sense of recognition and comfort… One of the most meaningful things a person can say is simply “I’m here,” and this is the level of profound connection that Joella evokes without ever straying into cliché.” —BookPage
"Joella develops his characters with enormous empathy... The pleasure of discovering connections is one of the most basic joys of reading and is key to Joella's storytelling.... The soothing tone and warm worldview of this grown-up bedtime story will be good for what ails you." —Kirkus
"Heartwarming, character-driven charm. Empathetic without becoming saccharine, A Quiet Life highlights the power of closure and the importance of a connected, compassionate community.” —Booklist
Praise for A Little Hope
“A surprising page-turner... Its calm wisdom about bearing the toughest losses—sometimes lightened by unexpected gifts—makes this novel a comforting companion for difficult times.”
“Poignant and quietly powerful…Joella is particularly deft at deconstructing quiet moments in small-town life and amplifying their significance... more than a tad hopeful.”
—New York Times Book Review
“A heartfelt, life-affirming novel.”
—Alexandra Daddario, Book of the Month
"An absorbing, propulsive, and elegantly written debut. I absolutely loved it."
—Brandon Hobson, National Book Award finalist and author of The Removed
"Forgiveness and redemption are the soul of this novel, but it's the love you will remember long after you put it down."
—Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of Lucia, Lucia and The Shoemaker's Wife
"A quietly powerful portrait of small-town life, about how the private worries and dreams of a set of characters intersect, told with wisdom and tenderness."
—Mary Beth Keane, author of Ask Again, Yes