Sunday, June 27, 2010

Book 35: The Brightest Star in the Sky

I don't think I've ever read a Marian Keyes novel that I didn't like.  The Brightest Star in the Sky was no exception.  I downloaded this one from, and got an extra treat with it: The narrator is Irish, which is fitting since the story is set a Number 66 Star Street in Dublin.

A mysterious presence is visiting the residents of the four flats in Number 66.  This presence is counting down to something, which of course is not revealed until the very end. But if you pay attention to a seemingly innocuous description in the story, you get a good clue as to what is going on.

Keyes deftly weaves between the stories of each of the residents of Number 66, unfolding their stories in bits and pieces, and intertwining the characters lives a bit at a time. You know all will be revealed, but Keyes switches between story lines at just the right moment, always leaving you wanting to know more about each character.  Without disclosing too much, I did tear up at an especially poignant moment near the end.  I have a lot more to say about that, but it would be a big  spoiler for me to elaborate here, so I'll share only this: sometimes, the most precious moments of our lives are those we never envision, and we find we were lucky to be a part of them.

Keyes stories are easy to enjoy, even when the subject matter is heavy.  I to relate to the characters.  I describe Keyes' heroines as "charmingly real."  Flawed, certainly.  Dim? Maybe, on occasion.  But also spunky.  Going after what they want. Making tough decisions. Surviving.  

For listeners not familiar with an Irish accent, the audiobook may be a bit hard to follow, and perhaps reading the book would be better.  But to me, listening to it provided an authenticity to the story.

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