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Star Gazing Paperback – May 29, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Piatkus Books (May 29, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0749938978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0749938970
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #795,622 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"This was a joy to read from the first page to the last... Romantic and quirky and beautifully written." --LoveReading.co.uk

"A read for diehard romantics with a bent towards environmental issues." --Aberdeen Press and Journal

"This is a story of love, music, and nature, with a very believable heroine. As a bonus, you're transported to the Isle of Skye and Edinburgh... An enjoyable novel by a reliably good writer." --Adele Geras (Author of FACING THE LIGHT)

“. . . with Star Gazing, Ms Gillard has undoubtedly created a thinking-woman’s romance that lingers in the memory long after the last page has been turned.”—New York Journal of Books

About the Author

Linda Gillard has been an actress, journalist and teacher and is the author of four novels, including STAR GAZING, short-listed in 2009 for Romantic Novel of the Year and the Robin Jenkins Literary Award (for writing that promotes the Scottish landscape.) Linda's latest novel, HOUSE OF SILENCE is a best-selling Kindle e-book.

She lives on the Isle of Arran and writes fulltime.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
88%
4 star
0%
3 star
13%
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See all 16 customer reviews
If you read it, you will never forget it.
W. R. Downey
I've now read all her books and eagerly await the next one!
SensoryMama
The characters are so well drawn and the story so moving.
Nicola in South Yorkshire

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Angela Thompson VINE VOICE on August 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
I first heard about STAR GAZING through Valerie's lovely review over at Life is a Patchwork Quilt. And I have to thank her for that review because I don't think I would otherwise have come across Linda Gillard's work. Gillard is a Scottish author who lived for several years on the Isle of Skye, where much of this book takes place. From what I can tell, her books tend to focus on women above the age of 35, who are dealing with the everyday, yet perilous issues of adulthood, aging, love, mental health, family, etc. As such, they sounded sort of awesome to me, and I immediately placed her most recent book on my wishlist. It seemed unique and appealed to me for several reasons, including the fact that the main character is a blind widow. The setting was also a draw. I have only been to Scotland once, but it made a lasting impression on me and I love reading books set there. So that's why I was so excited to receive a copy of STAR GAZING for my birthday. I cracked it open that night, fell in love immediately, and pretty much flew through it.

Marianne Fraser has several valid reasons to be as angry as she is. Blind since birth, she's navigated her way through life without the ability to see what's coming at her. Widowed just a few years into her marriage, her grief was compounded by the fact that she was pregnant at the time and lost the baby shortly after the horrible accident that took her husband Harvey. Living with her sister Louisa in a flat neither of them much like, she goes about her daily routine with almost furious precision. Counting and memorizing the number of steps from here to there, she has a place for everything. Her few outlets include walking through the park, touching the trees, listening to the rain, and going to the occasional opera.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Barbara J. Mitchell VINE VOICE on July 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
Star Gazing is one of those rare books I wished would never end. It is the story of Marianne, blind since birth, widowed young, and childless since she miscarried her baby shortly after her husband's tragic death. She lives with her beloved older sister who writes what Marianne considers silly novels, and then there is her sister's Goth assistant, a young man in make-up, piercings, and odd clothing.

Enter Keir, a tall man from Skye who has the ability to treat Marianne like a normal person, except that he can describe things using music and language so well that she can "see" them. He takes her to his home on the Isle of Skye to show her the stars, and does just that.

This love story and the four characters went directly to my heart as I read. If you've ever known a blind person, you know how difficult it is to describe things to him. Keir's loving consideration of Marianne's blindness and her crabbiness when her life skills fail her, is enough to make the reader fall in love with him too.

Like any love story, the course of it doesn't run smooth, partly because Marianne fears losing him if she falls in love. I must stop before I give the whole story away. Please read this one; it's the best book I've read in a long time.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chuckles on March 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
Star Gazing is one of those books that keeps you up til 4am with its twists and turns, engrossing story and totally yummy hero. I've lent it to many friends since I read it and we've all fallen in love with Keir who takes the blind heroine to the Isle of Skye to "show" her the stars. This book has everything - romance, humour, suspense, scenery and a cast of characters who will stay with you long after you finish it. I laughed out loud and cried my eyes out.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By W. R. Downey on August 6, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I hadn't read a romance novel in forty years. Generally they are fun but brain candy. So after a few, you give them up for books with some substance to them. I bought Star Gazing because Bill Marshall of the Dorothy Dunnett Readers Association was so enthusiastic about Linda Gillard. I read it in two evenings. I could not put it down. It was absolutely enthralling. I finished it at midnight last night. If I had had another Linda Gillard novel in the house I would have started it at midnight. Star Gazing was that good. If you read it, you will never forget it. - Celeste Hoffmann Downey
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nicola in South Yorkshire on March 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
I loved this book right from the start. The characters are so well drawn and the story so moving. Marianne is very independent, and a little prickly. She doesn't like to use her cane when she's out because she doesn't want it to be obvious she's blind. Some of the things she said made me smile, but you could also really feel her pain, both at the loss of her husband, and the other losses that she suffers.

Linda Gillard's writing seems to have so much feeling to it and I really cared what happened to Marianne and Keir. There's also Louisa and her relationship with the much younger Garth the Goth.

Because the main character is blind, there's a lot of description of Edinburgh and Skye, two wonderful settings. And the things Keir does to be able to describe surroundings to Marianne are very touching.

A lovely book, and one which I highly recommend. A 5/5 for me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Joanne Phillips on October 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
Wow. I defy anyone to read this book and not say Wow! First of all, what a brave move to step outside of conventional heroines and write about blindness in this way. If I didn't already know of Linda Gillard I would have assumed the author was blind, she writes about it so knowledgably, so authoritatively. There is more to this novel than meets the eye however, and Linda weaves a complex love story which resonates with the reader long after the book is finished. This is the kind of heroine I'd like to see more of in fiction - uncompromising, brave and self-reliant. A well-deserved 5 out of 5 stars.
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More About the Author

Linda Gillard is the author of seven novels and lives in the Scottish Highlands. She graduated from Bristol University, then trained as an actress at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. Whilst under-employed at the National Theatre, Linda developed a sideline as a freelance journalist. She ran two careers concurrently for a while, then gave up acting to raise a family and write from home.

Twelve years later, she re-trained as a teacher and taught in Norfolk for some years. She moved to the Isle of Skye where she lived for six years in a house on a hill overlooking the Cuillin mountain range which featured in her first novel, EMOTIONAL GEOLOGY, short-listed for the 2006 Waverton Good Read Award.

STAR GAZING, set on Skye, was published in 2008 and short-listed for "Romantic Novel of the Year 2009" and "The Robin Jenkins Literary Award", the UK's first environmental book award.

Linda's fourth novel, HOUSE OF SILENCE quickly became a Kindle bestseller. It was selected by Amazon UK for their "Top Ten Best of 2011" in the Indie Author category.

UNTYING THE KNOT was awarded a 2012 B.R.A.G Medallion by the Book Readers' Appreciation Group, as was CAULDSTANE, a gothic novel in the tradition of Daphne du Maurier and Mary Stewart. HOUSE OF SILENCE was recently awarded a third B.R.A.G Medallion.

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