Article Title

Brightly Burning


Tessa McMillan


Significant Shortcomings, Young Adult, Governesses, Orphans, Virus Diseases, Conspiracies, Space Ships, Love, Science Fiction

Document Type

Book Review


Life is not sustainable on Earth. To give Earth time to regenerate, humans create life-sustaining rocket ships to house Earth’s remaining inhabitants. But even in Space, social classes develop between the different rocket ships. The poorest societies live on the Stalwart, a ship that grows food for higher-class spacecrafts. Stella Ainsley educates the children on the Stalwart while also keeping the failing ship in working order. Stella yearns for life away from the struggling Stalwart, so she accepts a teaching job on the rocket ship Rochester. Rochester is privately owned and captained by the young and mysterious Hugo Fairfax. Stella loves teaching Hugo’s young sister, Jessa, and having in-depth conversations with Hugo. But the ship is shrouded in secrecy regarding Hugo’s past. A deep relationship blooms between Stella and Hugo, but a wealthy family wants to snag Hugo for their daughter. While sorting out her feelings for Hugo, Stella uncovers the Rochester’s devastating secret and returns to the malfunctioning Stalwart. With a close friend’s help, Stella travels to Earth to check it’s sustainability for the Stalwart’s inhabitants and to reconnect with an Earth-banished Hugo.