Monday, December 28, 2009

The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes

2 Star

Someone is watching over 66 Star Street in Dublin. The residence with four flats is home to four very different lives. Maeve and Matt appear very much in love, but are silently struggling. Lydia, a taxi cab driver, clashes with her two roommates while Kate is struggling with her relationship with Conall and aging Jemima keeps a keen eye on it all. A force is guiding them, watching and plotting, but just exactly what will happen within these four flats? 

Lydia - 2 Star

The Brightest Star in the Sky is an unusual combination of Single girl lit, Marriage Lit and Fantasy Lit all wrapped up into one and I was unexpectedly disappointed. I have loved everything Marian Keyes has ever written so I’m sad to say this was far from her best. It took me a long time to get into and I even put it down for days before picking it up again which is odd for me.

The narration was odd with some form of ‘spirit’ telling the story in the beginning and then it switched to the other characters perspective only to come back to the spirit occasionally and then at the end. The mystery behind this spirit was enough to keep me interested in finding out what it was (and quite frankly it might have been the only reason).

Keyes writing is impeccable and this novel is no exception. I could picture locations and events with ease. The majority of the problem lay in the characters. I couldn’t relate to them, nor did I really care about most of them. Their inevitable ‘changes’ in some cases just didn’t seem realistic to me which didn’t help, specifically Conall. My other dilemma with this work is that I didn’t get immersed in this story until the last 100 pages when things started to move and thought that much of the first 400 or so pages could have been condensed. Some of the story lines were dark and depressing, but I didn’t find the humorous edge she usually uses to diffuse some of the darkness in her other novels, such as Lola in This Charming Man (which I loved – 5 Star).

I do look forward to more Marian Keyes stories and can’t wait to devour her next one, even after this disappointment.

Kathryn - 2 Star

I found The Brightest Star in the Sky very difficult to get involved in. I’m not sure if it was because there were far too many characters or because none of them really appealed to me. There were so many people with so many lives that I was pretty confused about who was who for a long time.

Now I normally like novels with lots of interesting people in it but I found that even at the beginning of this we switched between storylines quickly so you never got a chance to grab anyone and get into their lives. By about a third of the way in I still didn’t really feel attached to any of them and was starting to get irritated by this thing that was telling the story- or hovering above the story- or whatever it was doing. I felt like it was in the way. By the end we are let in to the secret of what the thing is but I found it annoying.

All the people in the story revolve around a small set of flats and they intermingle with each other creating the storyline. The one person I did like was an older woman called Jemima who was quite astute with her feelings about the others. I also like a girl named Lydia who was so aggressive and grumpy half the time she made me laugh. Most of the others though were forgettable.

I was disappointed by this Keyes novel but as I’ve never disliked anything she’s written I’m going to just move along to her next one when it arrives and get over it!

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