The Brightest Star in the Sky



The Brightest Star in the Sky Welcome To Star Street 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 Matt And Maeve, 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 Star Street, Bringing Love, Friendship And Heartbreak, And A New Found Optimism Old Secrets Are Working Their Way To The Surface And All Their Lives Are About To Change In The Most Unexpected Of Ways

10 thoughts on “The Brightest Star in the Sky

  1. says:

    Before I start, I should say that I adore Marian Keyes I ve read all of her books I ve laughed, I ve cried, and I ve loved almost every word I could probably go as far to say that I worship the ground she walks on.So it pains me to say that I struggled with this book.The story focuses around a small block of flats in Dublin, and a mysterious character that is watching over all of its residents This supernatural visitor, who acts as a narrator, is able to see into the memories of everyone in Before I start, I should say that I adore Marian Keyes I ve read all of her books I ve laughed, I ve cried, and I ve loved almost every word I could probably go as far to say that I worship the ground she walks on.So it pains me to say that I struggled with this book.The story focuses around a small block of flats in Dublin, and a mysterious character that is watching over all of its residents This supernatural visitor, who acts as a narrator, is able to see into the memories of everyone in the building and through this, we gradually learn about each of the people living at 66 Star Street.Unfortunately, I m not a fan of fantasy stories Magic and mystery just don t appeal to me as much as realism The narrator whose identity is not revealed until the climax of the book wasof an irritation than a selling point for me, as I didn t understand who or what was telling the story, and my cynicism kept getting in the way.Despite the magical storyline, The Brightest Star in the Sky is actually a rather depressing read None of the characters are happy, and their backstories are all very dreary cheating, loneliness and mental illness among the mildest issues being dealt with Which leads me to the most fundamental issue I had with the book I didn t really like, or care about any of the characters.There are a lot of characters in the book There s Matt and Maeve, a couple with a terrible secret that s eating away at their relationship Katie, the music exec with a rubbish boyfriend Andrei and Jan, two Polish men who despise their flatmate, Lydia And what seems like hundredsWith so many different names and personalities to remember, and short chapters that jump between them at a quick pace, there was little time for a character to grow on you It seemed that every time I got mildly interested in someone, the focus would change to someone else and I d find myself thinking, not her again With some novels, your need to understand everything has you racing towards the end, but the mysteries within this story didn t really grab me With each chapter that revealed nothing, I found myselfirritated than intrigued Aside from the secret of the narrator, the chapters act as a mysterious countdown from Day 66, to Day 1 We re supposed to wonder what the book is counting down to, but I just wondered why it was taking so long to get there.As the story reached its climax, my interest finally peaked despite things getting evenharrowing and depressing than I d anticipated The last few chapters, although unsettling, were much easier to get through than the rest of the book But it was still a bit of a relief when I finally finished it The Brightest Star in the Sky might be a book that divides opinion If you re a fan of fantasy and magic, you may engagewith the storyline If you enjoy reading about everything that could possibly go wrong in the world, then perhaps you ll like the depressing themes But don t read this if you re looking for a happiness you won t find much of it here Don t worry, Marian, I still love you This review was originally published at Judging Covers.

  2. says:

    The residents of 66 Star Street in Dublin are all being watched but by what Maeve and Matt seem happy enough to anybody looking in, but behind the facade is a truth that neither of them wants to be made public Katie and Conall have a love hate relationship, but how will the arrival of TV gardener Fionn affect their relationship Lydia lives with Polish men Andrei and Jan, but can t stand either of them not to mention the problems Lydia is having with her own mother as well And Jemima lives w The residents of 66 Star Street in Dublin are all being watched but by what Maeve and Matt seem happy enough to anybody looking in, but behind the facade is a truth that neither of them wants to be made public Katie and Conall have a love hate relationship, but how will the arrival of TV gardener Fionn affect their relationship Lydia lives with Polish men Andrei and Jan, but can t stand either of them not to mention the problems Lydia is having with her own mother as well And Jemima lives with her lovely dog Gurudge, but is sure she feels the presence of something hanging around the house of 66 Star Street Just what, or who, is watching these people And will the secrets that bind them ever come out Marian Keyes is one of the most successful chick lit authors of all time, yet strangely I have only read 2 of her books I loved Watermelon, one of her earliest books, but her last release This Charming Man just didn t do it for me So it was with trepidation that I decided to try out her latest offering which has probably been the most anticipated books of 2009 It s had numerous cover designs posted all over the net some loved, some hated , but finally the book had its British release at the end of last month, and I couldn t go into a bookshop with seeing Marian s gold shiny book everywhere I got my copy from the library as I don t buy hardbacks and quickly sat down to read it.I have to admit this book was a real struggle for me At over 600 pages long, it s a very large book that requires the reader to put in a lot of time and concentration to read, so I was hoping it would be good enough to hold my attention that long, but I was sure it would because it was Marian But straight away, I disliked it, and sadly that continued throughout the whole book until the last 50 or so pages when I felt the whole things managed to pick up a bit but enough to move the book into 4 star territory for me It seems authors are trying to branch out in their material to try something different, and Keyes has almost taken the lead from Cecelia Ahern by introducing a magical element into the book, but I just felt it didn t work here at all.The narrator, who we don t find out the identity of until almost the end of the book, is somewhat creepy and doesn t feel magical at all, just somehow wrong It adds to the creepy and unsettling tone of the whole book there is not a whole lot of happiness in this book at all and I think that is what made me struggle to complete it I knew nothing good was going to happen, only that things would get worse for the characters I found Matt and Maeve s story in particular quite harrowing to read, and the shocking conclusion of it all was a bit too much for me Katie, my favourite character of the book was the only good thing for me, and the only believable character Conall was unlikeable, and I bet most readers will struggle to identify with him Fionn was an awful character, Rosie was easily forgetable I actually did forget her in parts , and Jemima was another of the greats, but they just weren t enough to save this book.There were too many characters to keep track of throughout the book, and I wasn t entirely sure why there was a countdown of days throughout the book Clearly we were headed towards day 1 but why what was going to happen I wasn t altogether sure I cared that much, and that s a fundamental flaw here I hadn t guessed the narrator until the point I think we were supposed to realise but many have claimed they guessed it when I did realise, I was a bit flummoxed by it because it was slightly odd and seemed like it had come out of nowhere to be honest The chapters are relatively short so the story keeps going at a good enough pace, but I do feel it could have been 200 pages shorter and thereforesuccinct and perhaps better reading.Yes, I have to admit I am really disappointed with the latest offering from one of Ireland s greatest authors, and I am glad I decided to wait to get a copy from my library It isn t something I can recommend you go and buy, but if you re a fan of Keyes, you ll want to read this However, if you ve never read Marian before DO NOT start with this one, you probably won t want to pick up another of her booksreviewers also seem split on this some love it and some hate it, and sadly I just couldn t get on with it at all It was just too depressing and painful to read, and while elements of the book showed promise, it just didn t work for me Such a pity

  3. says:

    Why did I read this book I was waiting in the library and it looked interesting Am I regretting it No, I m not Not really.The thing is, if this book had held on to the atmosphere and narration from the beginning, it would have gotten 4 stars I would have thoroughly enjoyed it Instead it suddenly turns from oh, warm, cozy book about love and loss and finding yourself in a world of turmoil to PAIN AND ANGER view spoiler AND HERE HAVE THIS DETAILED RAPE SCENE AND A SUICIDE ATTEMPT hide Why did I read this book I was waiting in the library and it looked interesting Am I regretting it No, I m not Not really.The thing is, if this book had held on to the atmosphere and narration from the beginning, it would have gotten 4 stars I would have thoroughly enjoyed it Instead it suddenly turns from oh, warm, cozy book about love and loss and finding yourself in a world of turmoil to PAIN AND ANGER view spoiler AND HERE HAVE THIS DETAILED RAPE SCENE AND A SUICIDE ATTEMPT hide spoiler Seriously Changing your style in the middle of everything is not cool Not cool at all Especially if you do it after half a book We re already sucked in, thinking this is a nice little story about ordinary people, with a little bit of magic and problems thrown in, and suddenly BAM, cold shower of darkness you didn t sign up for You can t spring shit like that on us, just to go back to your fluffy ways and fix it all with a brush of your wizard stick We re not gonna buy it There s a stark difference between the two styles, and she doesn t manage to mix them well Still, I did give it 3 stars, and that s because Keyes writes some great characters and because I rather enjoyed the beginning I love the idea of what the narrator is, and Katie is kind of a kindred spirit Well, apart from the high heels, but eating yourself to death in cake is a splendid idea Now I m gonna talk about something that contains a spoiler I m not hiding it because it s important and none of you are gonna read this book anyway I really respect Marian Keyes for writing the rape scene and the suicide attempt, because it s portrayed realistically and it s a very important issue It wasn t as rough but still unpleasant reading the rape as it was reading about doctors and policemen blaming the victim and not taking the issue seriously afterwards It made my wanna fucking break faces, god it was infuriating And that s why it bothers me that she put it in this book, because it s not the place for it It probably helped enlighten a few people and shed light on a terrible taboo, but it didn t fit in and it s a shame, because it s strongly and bravely written She should have saved it for another story It s too easy to ignore or skip past in this one But it carries a strong message Life does go on, and your body belongs to you

  4. says:

    If the first few reviews you saw was the I usually love Marian Keys, but I m rewarding this one star kind, I m happy to tell you those unfortunates read this book all wrong Quite the contrary, it has all the traits and character and characters that makes me adore Ms Keyes books unreservedly.Yes, there is a very odd, seemingly omnipresent but certainly not omniscient narrator in this one and that detracts nothing from the warm and engaging story This is not the first time this author ha If the first few reviews you saw was the I usually love Marian Keys, but I m rewarding this one star kind, I m happy to tell you those unfortunates read this book all wrong Quite the contrary, it has all the traits and character and characters that makes me adore Ms Keyes books unreservedly.Yes, there is a very odd, seemingly omnipresent but certainly not omniscient narrator in this one and that detracts nothing from the warm and engaging story This is not the first time this author has pulled me back from the brink of a reading slump and going back over my reviews, I find that I ve given her 4s and 5s only I m not surprised in the least

  5. says:

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers To view it, click here Ahh, another gem from Marian Keyes I didn t even know she had another book coming out so it was like an unexpected gift, so exciting I didn t like her last one This Charming Man so much but this one was back up to her usual top standard I spent a lovely day in bed racing through it and enjoying every minute I love the way she writes, I always find her characters so endearingly excitable and quirky possibly because M.K herself is like that Anyway I certainly am it s nice to know I am n Ahh, another gem from Marian Keyes I didn t even know she had another book coming out so it was like an unexpected gift, so exciting I didn t like her last one This Charming Man so much but this one was back up to her usual top standard I spent a lovely day in bed racing through it and enjoying every minute I love the way she writes, I always find her characters so endearingly excitable and quirky possibly because M.K herself is like that Anyway I certainly am it s nice to know I am not alone in being easily excited by random things I loved Katie s enthusiasm for chemists they re such a force for good and Lydia s fascination with Polish towns ending in sk they sounded like swear words, only far hissier and snakier For a while I thought that the whole thing with Death and Life or the spirit of the future baby or whatever it was watching everyone s lives and commenting was a bit weird and distracting, but by the end of it I was quite enjoying their bits, ESPECIALLY David getting squashed by the flying block of ice, HA Rarely have I seen a villain come to such a delightfully satisfying end.I loved Matt and Maeve s story, although I found it a bit frustrating not knowing what had gone wrong for them I think I will enjoy this bookin subsequent readings of it I often find that, actually Mysteries frustrate me I like to KNOW.For some reason halfway through I started picturing Conall as Mr Big from Sex and the City Something about the way he was described After that I couldn t respect him as much I loathe Mr Big and all that he stands for.I was slightly disappointed that nothing ended up happening between Lydia and HOT Andrei, although there were hints at the end that there might be something in the future for them Boo I loved all the scenes between them, SUCH great chemistry.Anyway all in all a fantastic read Yay Marian Keyes

  6. says:

    I found the characters well rounded and despite their diverse personalities they were for the most part likeable with one very large exception.Although the story jumps about a fair amount, it is still quite easy to follow once you adapt to the style From a negative point of view, I did not enjoy the story, and found the book quite a distressing read Contains Spoilers view spoiler Sex, suicide, rape and death are major themes of this novel and I really did struggle to continue at poin I found the characters well rounded and despite their diverse personalities they were for the most part likeable with one very large exception.Although the story jumps about a fair amount, it is still quite easy to follow once you adapt to the style From a negative point of view, I did not enjoy the story, and found the book quite a distressing read Contains Spoilers view spoiler Sex, suicide, rape and death are major themes of this novel and I really did struggle to continue at points.The rape is graphic, the treatment of the rape victim, by her friends and the police is horrific This book would never inspire a victim of rape or sexual abuse to report their assault to the police, and paints a very grim view of even confiding in close friends Whether or not it is a realistic portrayal of the treatment sex victims receive, it is certainly a very bleak view The suicide is unpleasant reading, as was the first death scene.The death of the sex criminal is unrealistic and laughable in an otherwise relatively realistic portrayal of life Unfortunately as we all know the bad guy never gets his just desserts in reality hide spoiler Suitable for ages 18 due to explicit content and distressing scenes

  7. says:

    It pains me to give this one star and I d prefer to give it 1.5 but I justcan t as I love Marian Keyes, but this book took me by surprise and not in a good way I figured out the big secret with Maeve early on, but I m not sure whether that was due to it being obvious, ora recognition of subtle signs, so maybe not everyone would work it out so quickly While I understand that having any warning as to what had happened would essentially take away any suspense in the story, if I had It pains me to give this one star and I d prefer to give it 1.5 but I justcan t as I love Marian Keyes, but this book took me by surprise and not in a good way I figured out the big secret with Maeve early on, but I m not sure whether that was due to it being obvious, ora recognition of subtle signs, so maybe not everyone would work it out so quickly While I understand that having any warning as to what had happened would essentially take away any suspense in the story, if I had known what the book would focus on I most certainly would not have read it I guess there is a reason that the statement trigger warning has become so used online, and a book like this could really use one Marian usually handles difficult subject matter well, but not here I finished the book feeling sad and lost, and even the cheesy and unlikely happy ending was not enough to change that

  8. says:

    Just finished reading the book fifteen minutes ago, and am slightly scarred by the ending Very graphic and dramatic and the just desserts for David seemed unbelievable However, the writing was good and it was an enjoyable read, if you re in the mood for something heavy Let me clarify that this is not in any way a beach read, particularly the final 50 or so pages Many characters Rosie in particular I really wanted to slap She s like an annoying neighbour that pops over unannounced and st Just finished reading the book fifteen minutes ago, and am slightly scarred by the ending Very graphic and dramatic and the just desserts for David seemed unbelievable However, the writing was good and it was an enjoyable read, if you re in the mood for something heavy Let me clarify that this is not in any way a beach read, particularly the final 50 or so pages Many characters Rosie in particular I really wanted to slap She s like an annoying neighbour that pops over unannounced and stays for hours And the relationship between Lydia and Andrei should never have been written if he was going to end up with Rosie as a beaten man anyway, why waste time with Lydia Their zinging connection, the sexual tension, ripping each others clothes off and going at it over and over Something should ve happened between them Not just mindless sex I would ve liked it if Andrei had grown a pair and tolf Rosie to eff off pardon my language back to her nunnery This coming from someone who isn t having sex till marriage, due to my religion Sure, I follow my religion, but I don t go around rubbing it into people s faces with Rosie s Holier than thou bullshit again, sorry for swearing, but oh she annoyed me so The narrator once I realised who it was creeped me out slightly, but I know what Marian was trying to do and it was sweet I wouldn t recommend this book for youngsters I d classify that as people below the age of 18 because the themes of sex, rape and death are just too vivid and somewhat disturbing Plus, now that I really think about it, what in god s name was Dr Shrigley ON, telling Maeve to do Acts of Kindness and Trios and Blessings and all that yoke To a rape victim, seriously It all seemed so new agey and made it seem like Shrigley was dealing with a rape victim with a hearts and flowers approach, and that did not seem appropriate Prescribing antidepressants seemedrealistic, but I found the Trios of Blessings particularly hard to take It almost seems like Shrigley is taking the piss But it was effective in terms of storytelling, because it showed how damaged Matt and Maeve s relationship was Before I started reading this book, I d just finished reading last Chance Saloon another one of Marian s books and I felt slightly frustrated with Katie s character she seemed like all three of the protagonists discounting the gay best friend combined with all that whining about never finding a man again and her body turning into a museum and all that I was glad when she met Fionn, but irritated by his immaturity Conall s character was a bit under developed in a way all I really knew about him from the first 300 odd pages was that he was a workaholic who continually disappointed his girlfriend He came across as a cookie cutter character, the workaholic boyfriend who realises the error of his ways and subsequently changes himself Further, another bug bear of mine had been the best friends of the characters Marian, you ve already included so many protagonists Lydia, Katie, Conall, Matt, Maeve, Fionn, Jemima, Andrei, Jan, Grudge, the narrator, etc including best friends just made the story difficult to follow at times I often found myself wondering Who s Alex Who s Sissy Who s Russ Who s Bronagh even now, aside from Sissy because she was included in the final 50 or so pages , I can t remember any of Lydia s friends Katie s friends are all a blur to me Was there a guy called Danno who loved coffee or red bull, who had a very high frequency, or am I thinking about Last Chance Saloon All in all, this book was an enjoyable read and kept me interested, despite its length I d recommend it to people, sure However, it is far from my favourite Marian that spot might be reserved for Angels or This Charming Man

  9. says:

    I ve been a massive Marian Keyes fan since way back in 1995 when I read Watermelon , and I ve read every one of her book since then, some have been better than others, especially those that feature the Walsh family, but I ve enjoyed all of them Marian Keyes books always contain hilarious one liners, wittily drawn characters that are warm and that the reader cares about whilst usually dealing with quite serious and often serious issues To me, this almost feels like s lagging off one of my bes I ve been a massive Marian Keyes fan since way back in 1995 when I read Watermelon , and I ve read every one of her book since then, some have been better than others, especially those that feature the Walsh family, but I ve enjoyed all of them Marian Keyes books always contain hilarious one liners, wittily drawn characters that are warm and that the reader cares about whilst usually dealing with quite serious and often serious issues To me, this almost feels like s lagging off one of my best mates, but The Brightest Star in the Sky really has been a big let down Whilst still dealing with some difficult and very emotional topics, this novel just didnt engage me at all I found the concept of the novel just so very strange for some reason she has decided to have a narrator who is not of this earth the Brightest Star of the title The time line of the novel is so confusing it starts on Day 60 something, then jumps back day by day, then jumps back a few years which becomes really confusing The very short chapters concentrate on one of the many characters in the story, which again becomes quite difficult to follow there are just too many characters, some of them are pretty one dimensional and to be honest, I just didnt really care about them at all The characters all revolve around 66 Star Street in Dublin their lives become mixed up together, but it felt as though a few of the relationships were just so outrageous and had been added to the story purely for effect There are still some quite funny parts of the novel, and a few good plots, but on the whole this really is a massive disappointment and I think that most die hard Keyes fans will feel the same way It s a massive tome of a book with over 600 pages and I was determined to make it to the end in the hope that maybe it would all pull together in the end, but sadly, I closed the book after finishing it with just a sigh of relief I dont know why Marian Keyes has chosen this concept for the novel, maybe she s seen the success of Cecilia Ahern The concept of the story is very similar to Ahern s book called If You Could See Me Now which I also really disliked I really hope that this was an experiment for Keyes and that her next book is back to her usual standards personally, I d love to see another book about the Walsh family

  10. says:

    A real disappointment It is over 600 pages and I got 150 pages in before I threw the towel in The story centres around a block of flats in Dublin and its various inhabitants and it switches from character to character with lots of flashbacks so that you get to know them all, but it does get a little confusing trying to get each one straight in your mind There is some mysterious ghostly type of invisible entity hovering over the flats and its inhabitants which keeps saying that everything i A real disappointment It is over 600 pages and I got 150 pages in before I threw the towel in The story centres around a block of flats in Dublin and its various inhabitants and it switches from character to character with lots of flashbacks so that you get to know them all, but it does get a little confusing trying to get each one straight in your mind There is some mysterious ghostly type of invisible entity hovering over the flats and its inhabitants which keeps saying that everything is about to change but I can t wait any longer I have really enjoyed Marian Keyes books before but this one is just leaving me stone cold

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