20.11.09

Book Review: The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes



As any regular visitors to my blog will know, I was just a little bit excited about reading the new Marian Keyes book. I have taken my time with The Brightest Star in the Sky and really enjoyed it. There's a fair few characters so I'll give you a little overview of the inhabitants of 66 Star Street, the address in Dublin where this tale takes place:
In the top floor flat lives music exec Katie. She spends her days fighting off has-been rock stars and wondering how much cheesecake you'd need to eat yourself to death.
Below her, a pair of muscular Poles share with a streetwise cabbie named Lydia, who has a sharp tongue, an even sharper brain but some unexpected soft spots.
On the first floor is Fionn- a gardener who prefers the company of parsnips to people. But he looks like a fairy-tale prince and when he's offered his own television show, he's suddenly thrust into the limelight.
And at the bottom of the house live Maeve and Matt, who are Very Much In Love and who stave off despair by doing random acts of kindness.
But a mysterious visitor has just landed at 66 Star Street and big changes are on the way. Old secrets are working their way to the surface, bringing love, tragedy and unexpected optimism. And life will be different for everyone...

So as you can see there are quite a few characters to follow but Marian Keyes manages to link them perfectly. I don't usually like books with lots of characters to keep track of but I didn't feel confused at any point as they all feature consistently throughout. I have always enjoyed the characters that Keyes creates and this lot did not disappoint. By having 66 Star Street as a central point, Keyes is able to bring a varied bunch of people together in a very believable manner. I think that my favourite character was the feisty Lydia, hard as nails but with a heart of gold.
Many people felt that Marian Keyes' last book, This Charming Man, was a little serious compared to her other writing. I think it did have a darker side but that it was dealt with in a very Marian Keyes manner. The Brightest Star in the Sky also explores some pretty heavy issues and there are many poignant moments within the book. However, Keyes' wit and humour is still present throughout and personally I think that it is this humour which allows her to explore darker subjects in such a sensitive way.
The mysterious visitor to Star Street is not revealed until the very last page and I was guessing right up until the very end. I loved the use of the mysterious visitor though as it allowed the reader to get to the very core of the characters whilst adding an air of mystery that kept me turning the pages.
I may be a little biased in this review as I am such a fan of Marian Keyes but I do think that this is one of her best. As with all her books, you get a brilliant story with some fantastic characters but there is real depth to the book too. The Brightest Star in the Sky left me with a profound feeling of hope, hope that if we surround ourselves with the people who love and care for us then we can face anything that life throws at us,

12 comments:

verity said...

I look forward to reading this if you think it was one of her best as I have been a big fan of her other books - they are quite easy reads, but meaty too!

Dot said...

Verity- I hope you enjoy it, they are good meaty reads aren't they!

Nadia said...

OMG! Dot, this sounds like such a wonderful read and I cannot wait to buy it!! It comes over here to the states next year so I will be eagerly anticipating its arrival at the bookstore. This books sounds so good - of course I love all of Keyes' books. Can't wait!! Thanks for the review - you got me excited about this new book. Cheers!!

Kim said...

Another one for my list Dot, thank you for a great review. I am definitely going to pick this up when I see it next. I love the idea of thinking about how much cheesecake it would take to eat yourself to death......that is very funny.

Karen said...

You have tweaked my interest! Can you give us a hint on what some of the heavy issues in the book are without giving anything away??

Dot said...

Nadia- thank you! Hope you enjoy it when it comes out in the States. I saw the cover for the USA version and it's beautiful!

Kim- I have probably thought about the cheesecake question quite a lot! Hope you enjoy it when you get a copy.

Karen- oooh that's a tough one, dementia is dealt with and knowing someone who suffers with this, I really felt that Marian had clearly done her research as she got the affect it has on families spot on. There is another very heavy issue but I have really thought about it and there is no way to talk about it without giving the whole plot away. I think I will probably do a post on it when more people have read the book as Marian Keyes again dealt with it brilliantly. Sorry if that's not much help but you probably wouldn't enjoy the book as much if you knew from the very beginning!

savidgereads said...

One of the girls from the job I just left actually bought me a copy of This Charming Man in an effort to make me read Keyes as she says despite the covers she is one of the best writers!!! So am now going to give her a go over christmas thanks to her and this enthusiastic post!

Karen said...

That's a great help Dot - thank so much! I actually went out and bought the book today...

Dot said...

Simon- I really hope you enjoy it, This Charming Man is excellent!

Karen- Sorry if my answer was still a little cryptic but I didn't want to spoil it for you! Look forward to reading your review!

Alayne said...

Nice review. This books sounds really cute. I've never read her other works.
Alayne
TheCrowdedLeaf.wordpress.com

Jillian said...

I love Keyes' books! This is the only one from her that I haven't read yet, but I'll definitely be picking it up!

I have a suggestion for you too! I think you would really love a book I wrote called 'Knickles and Dimes'. It's a fun chicklit, with laugh-out-loud characters and a great story. I hope you'll check it out!

http://www.eloquentbooks.com/KnicklesAndDimes.html

Thanks for the review!

Jillian

Dot said...

Alayne- Thank you, you should give one a go, they're ever so good!

Jillian- I hope that you enjoy reading it! Thanks for the recommendation, I shall go and check it out!

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