Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Reading My Books - Nights of Rain and Stars

I think that I have finished the last of the Maeve Binchy books in my book stash - unless there is one hidden at the back that I am unaware of - which makes me rather sad.  I think that I have written before that I first started reading her with her second book, Echoes, which was published in the 1980's.  As she is sadly now no longer with us, I think that I have now read all of her works that I care to read.

That said, I am glad that I finished with this one, it was a good book and a nice story that I enjoyed.  What was this book I hear you ask.  It was Nights of Rain and Stars.



This is what the blurb has to say:-

"Four strangers meet in a Greek tavern high above the small village of Aghia Anna.  From Ireland, America, Germany and England, they have each left their homes and their old lives, when a shocking tragedy throws them unexpectedly together.

Fiona is trying to make her family understand her need to follow her own path.  Thomas desperately misses his young son and fears that his ex-wife will come between them.  Elsa abandoned a successful career, but someone from her past refuses to let her go.  And shy, quiet David is determined to make a stand against his overhearing father.

Nights of Rain and Stars is the story of one summer and four people, each with a life in turmoil.  With the held of Vonni, an Irish woman who lives in the village and is now a near native, they find solutions - although not necessarily the ones they anticipated..."

Firstly, after several complaints recently about book blurb grammar, I have to say that the blurb on this book is definitely an improvement.  If you overlook the fact that one sentence starts with "and"....  Although the blurb makes the story sound far more dramatic than it actually is.  There is a tragedy, it does affect the four strangers who have come together one night under the stars, but initially at least, not as closely or personally as the blurb would lead us to believe.  For me that was a good thing.  I was worried that the story was going to take an unnecessarily dramatic turn, but as that didn't happen I was able to just relax and enjoy the story.  The tragedy is more of a vehicle to start the story than the main substance of the book.

The story does indeed tell us about the lives of Fiona, Elsa, David and Thomas as well as the life of Vonni and several of the other residents of the village of Aghia Anna.  Each has their own problem to overcome and as the story comes to a close their issues are resolved as they support each other and their friendship grows.  In the end everything is fairly nicely tied up, but not completely so we still have to imagine what might happen next.  I have never been to Greece, but there were some lovely descriptions of the small town and I could picture it in my minds eye.  I love it when a book brings a place to life for me.

I could imagine that Binchy was setting this book up to have some sort of a sequel as she has done with some of her other books, we could have followed the ongoing journeys of any of the characters in these books.  It was not meant to be though, so instead we can use our imaginations and allow the characters to have the lives we wish for them.

Once again I enjoyed this book.  It was a good read, well paced, well written.  No gory bits, overly intimate bits, no swearing and nothing that wasn't necessary to the storyline.  As you know those are all things that I object to in a book, so when they are missing I am always happy!

Would I recommend this book.  Definitely.  It is an interesting story, the characters are well developed and it makes for a good read.  I give it 9 out of 10, the one point is missing because I want - totally unfairly! - a sequel and although I happy not to have everything tied up, there was one thing that I wanted to be resolved and that made me sad.

My copy is, due to the ever present space issue, off to the charity shop for someone else to enjoy.  If you see a copy out there, pick it up and have a read.  I think you will like it.

Happy reading!

Amy

p.s. as always my other reviews can be found here, or by clicking the Reading My Books page in the sidebar.

11 comments:

  1. I am so up to date that I thought Maeve Binchy was a relatively new author and, to my shame, didn't realise she was no longer with us. Actually, your account has made me think I should give one of her books a try - it would make a change from non-fiction and historical novels; though I do like a bit of Rankin and Goddard from time to time. Thanks Amy!

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  2. Haven't read any Maeve Binchy though I have certainly heard of her. It's always good to find an author we enjoy, so sad then that you won't get your sequel xx

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  3. I have read this book in the past but unfortunately I've forgotten the story now. I will have a look on my bookshelf later to see if I still have a copy. Cathy x

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  4. Not an author that I have read a lot of but I did pick a couple up from the charity shop recently in preparation for a rainy day in.

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  5. Thank you for the book review Amy I haven't read this one so I'm off to put it onto my wish list. :) xx

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  6. I have a few Maeve Binchy books on my shelf that I plan to reread and then donate. My goal is for the books I want to keep to fit on my current bookshelves. I do have a long way to go as I keep checking some out from the library!!!

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  7. It is a while since I read this book and had forgotten all about it. Perhaps if I can find a copy I might retread it. Thanks for the reminder Amy.

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  8. I'll be keeping an eye out for her writing! Thank you. blessings ~ tanna

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  9. I never read Maeve Binchy book.. it is quiet interesting..

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  10. Yay! Another Binchy book I can look forward to reading. Did I tell you I finished her book, "A Week in Winter" not long ago? I enjoy her settings [AWIW set in Ireland for the most part...a little USA, too] and character development which includes ordinary, extraordinary moments with stresses more often resolved and rarely left hanging.

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  11. When I saw the title I thought I'd read it, having read so many of MB books. But reading the description I don't think I have! I shall have to look out for it.
    Lisa x

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