Title: The Brightest Star in the Sky
Author: Marian Keyes
Release Date: January 21, 2010
Publisher: Viking Adult
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4.25 out of 5
In her latest novel, Marian Keyes focuses on the residents of an apartment building in Dublin. There’s Katie and her workaholic boyfriend Conall, who always seems to put his job first. Matt and Maeve appear to have the perfect relationship on the surface, but there are serious cracks underneath their facade. Lydia appears to be horrible at first glance, but there really is method behind her madness, while Fionn is crashing at his foster mother’s place while filming a new gardening show. All of these people’s lives intersect unexpectedly as they go about their daily lives in The Brightest Star in the Sky.
Marian Keyes is one of the giants of the chick lit world. Her books are snarky and witty, while also being incredibly emotional narratives that really draw the reader into the story. Her characters are larger than life, expertly drawn. The reader becomes invested in their lives – all will not be right in the world if Keyes’ characters don’t get their happy endings. Her latest books have actually been straying away from chick lit territory, creeping closer and closer to contemporary fiction as she tackles such serious subjects as alcoholism, physical abuse, and the death of a spouse. With The Brightest Star in the Sky, Marian Keyes successfully forges into new territory.
The Brightest Star in the Sky is Keyes’ first book to feature such a large cast of characters. Though many of her books have multiple narrators, none have quite this many. Yet Keyes does a wonderful job balancing the book – there are a lot of characters, but never too many. Keyes doesn’t make it difficult to keep track of who is narrating; she develops each character with her expert craftsmanship, and the reader ends up getting to know each of them intimately.
That being said, The Brightest Star in the Sky is slow-going at the beginning. It takes awhile to get into the book and to find the appeal in each of the characters. Keyes definitely works her magic in this novel, but it can take a little while to come together. As a result, if you’re looking for a fast paced book, this might not be for you.
The aspect that elevates The Brightest Star in the Sky from ordinary to extraordinary is the ending. Keyes brings all the narratives together to a shocking conclusion with some incredibly unexpected revelations. The ending really makes the entire book worth reading. This is a great novel that I definitely recommend – while it may not be for everyone, if you’re in the mood for a solid, light-hearted work of contemporary fiction, I’d pick this one up.