Monday, January 3, 2011

The Brightest Star in the Sky

The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes
Viking, 2010
466 pages
4/5 stars

Source: Library

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.


  1. I have actually never read a Marian Keyes novel, but I have one at home. But I love Irish settings, so I am definitely going to tackle Ms Keyes one day. I'm glad you enjoyed the novel!

  2. I really like Marian Keyes so I will probably have to read this one :-) Thanks for reviewing it!


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