Monday, January 3, 2011
The Brightest Star in the Sky
Summary: At 66 Star Street lives four unusual tenants. Katie turns 40 and ends up kicking her workaholic boyfriend Conall to the curb; Jemima whose foster son Fionn is coming to Dublin to have a gardening TV show; Lydia living in a small room as a tenant of Poles Andrei and Jan; and Matt and Maeve a married couple with a terrible secret. Keyes weaves their stories in and out to show the highs and lows of life.
Thoughts: I have read and enjoyed most of Keyes' previous books so I was looking forward to reading this hefty tome. Despite its length, it moved very quickly (much faster than say Pegasus) and I mostly enjoyed it.
There was an odd framing device that counted down from day 61 to an epilogue. The countdown worked but when the reason was revealed, I found it really weird although once you know, the reason connects to some passages in the book and makes sense. It was just really, really weird. I did enjoy the epilogue which tied up loose ends including a very satisfying revenge scene. The chapters alternate perspectives among the four apartments to provide the full story.
Now I read some reviews that felt there were too many characters. There are a lot of characters but I felt that I had just about the right amount of time with all of them although I would have spent more time with Katie and Conall. Speaking of Conall, his name as well as Fionn's jarred me; I guess they are traditional Irish names but I've never heard of them. So obviously Katie was my favorite. But I loved Lydia's brashness and Jemima's heart and I felt for Matt and Maeve. Their story has a strongly sad element that is carefully unpeeled on the way to the end. I enjoyed seeing how the characters intersected.
Overall: I really enjoyed this-it left a big impression on me.
Cover: Nothing extraordinary-it's difficult to tell in this picture but there are little golden pictures that reflect plot points.