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The Brightest Star in the Sky: A Novel Hardcover – January 21, 2010

135 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Keyes delivers a dizzying vertical view of the mismatched, mixed-up tenants of Dublin's 66 Star Street, friends and lovers who grow up, grow old and give way to their heart currents with help from a puckish sprite. This multitiered saga of Dubliners searching for the brightest star in the sky... the planet of love straddles slapstick and sophistication in an engaging balancing act both giddy and grand. Here's Katie, publicist, freshly 40, and her workaholic, commitment-phobic fella, Conall; newlyweds Maeve and Matt, who hide a violent and crippling secret that binds them and drives them apart; madcap, sassy Lydia, a taxi driver who juggles worries about her aging mom and an over-the-top passion (mixed with equal parts lust and disdain) for her sexy flatmate; plucked from nowhere hunk Fionn, who hopes to begin a TV career, and his psychic foster mom and her mean-as-a-snake dog who improbably helps bring all the sweet mayhem to a satisfying close. Keyes (This Charming Man) is an expert at weaving dark threads into cozy material, and in this ambitious outing, she's in top form. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

A mysterious spirit is hovering over the building at 66 Star Street in Dublin, and this spirit is on a mission to change someone’s life. The spirit, however, is unclear on whom this someone will be. It could be Matt and Maeve, the newlyweds suffering with a terrible secret. Or Lydia the cabbie, who rooms with two sullen Polish nationals and spends most of her time worrying about her mother. Or maybe Katie, the newly 40 PR person with a flash job and a flashier boyfriend but who is still unfulfilled. Or Jemima, the elderly psychic, currently hosting her adopted son, Fionn, while he auditions for a TV show. The spirit slides back and forth between floors, hiding in shoes and peeking at photographs, learning all it can about the Star Street residents, and in doing so unknowingly interlocks each person’s life with his or her neighbors’, whether they like it or not. While the premise may sound silly, popular Keyes expertly develops it to create genuinely human and believable characters within a substantial and gratifying story. --Hilary Hatton

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 468 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; 1 edition (January 21, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670021407
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670021406
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.6 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #765,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Marian Keyes lived in London for ten years before returning to her native Dublin. After receiving a law degree and studying accounting, she began writing short stories in 1993. She is the author of three previous novels--Watermelon, Lucy Sullivan Is Getting Married, and Rachel's Holiday--all major bestsellers around the world.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
When I first started reading "The Brightest Star in The Sky" I was super puzzled. Marian Keyes is a fairly straight forward author-in fact most chick-lit and similar authors are (not that Keyes is really chick lit) and don't tend to have a lot of ghosts, vampires or other supernatural presences. And if they do, then they're classified as horror or sci-fi. Which Keyes is definitely not. So when this book opened with some kind of spirit following the lives and digging into the memories of everyone who lived at 66 Star Street in Dublin, I was a little concerned for the book. It seemed wildly out of character. And in fact if I had known where the whole thing was going in the beginning I would have thought it was a very, well, weird idea that would be nearly impossible to pull off without immense cliché.

Except it was pulled off-and with no old cliché or massive unnecessary sentiment at all. That's all I'm going to say about that. Anything more would be spoiling the fun.

66 star street is a four level apartment building and at the beginning of the book seven people live there (one will join later.) There's Jemima, an eighty eight year old woman with a very strange dog named Grudge, some physic tendencies (but she claims she's just old) and a son named Fionn who she adores beyond anything. Fionn himself is a beyond normally handsome gardener about to get his own TV show. Then there's Katie-she's just turning forty and works in PR for musicians but in spite of her workaholic always traveling none live in boyfriend (Conall) who rips companies apart and puts them back together-she's pretty unfulfilled. On the second floor we have Lydia, Andrei and Jan. Lydia is a twenty something bundle of sarcasm who drives a cab and has some great unknown (to us) problem in her life.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Nicole on June 22, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I can usually read a Marian Keyes novel in 48 hours. This one took me over a week. I kept putting it down and could not get into it. However, having said that, I am glad I struggled to the end. The Brightest Star in the Sky is different than all her previous books (and I have read all of them). So, If you have never read Keyes before, don't start with this one. I felt the book was lacking with her usual humor and wit she adds to the characters. The characters were well developed, but I often found myself asking, what is the point with some of the back story? It was also pretty easy to figure out why the spirit was present about half way through, so I'm not sure what the point of adding it to the story was.

*If you have read Keyes before, definitely add this one to your list, but just know it is different. You must read all the way until the end however. The last 40 pages were a breeze, the most entertaining, and ever question you may have asked yourself is answered.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Antoinette Klein on February 9, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Marian Keyes is one of my favorite writers and she does not disappoint with this complex tale of the residents of a Dublin apartment house. The premise of delving into the lives of strangers bound only by the fact they share the same address is always fascinating to me, so I was predisposed to love this book, and love it I did.

I was a bit mystified at first by the spirit who introduced the story and hovered around the residents throughout. I will only say that I was completely shocked (and very happy, indeed) when the spirit was finally explained. Not what I expected, at all.

The residents of the town house are all well-defined and have interesting back stories that explain their current circumstances. On the ground floor are Matt and Maeve, a young couple who seem to have the perfect marriage. It is only when we see them preparing for bed that we begin to realize a dark secret is destroying each of them. Maeve's wild bicycle riding and apparent death wish and Matt's increasing depression is a big hook that will keep the reader turning the pages.

Lydia, the often abrasive taxi driver who shares a flat with two Polish men, Andrei and Jan, is the hardest to love. She is in relationships, mostly sexual, with men she hates or has no use for, yet has a mother in the outlying areas of Dublin who proves to be a major test of love and endurance for her.

Jemima, the eighty-eight year old resident of the third floor, is the voice on a psychic hotline yet claims not to be psychic. She tells her callers she just has learned a lot by living a long time. Her handsome foster son, Fionn, comes to live with her while being groomed to have his own gardening show on television, and adds to the sexual entanglements running amuck at 66 Star Street.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Krisilou VINE VOICE on June 1, 2010
Format: Hardcover
In this novel, Keyes intertwines the stories of the residents (permanent and temporary) of 66 Star Street. The mismatched characters include everyone from a gardening show wannabe star to a record company exec to a taxi driver. The first 3/4 of the novel is spent on telling most of the residents' stories, but Keyes holds back on us until the very end. I felt like there was a lot of backstory and little real plot and action. The characters themselves are interesting, and I kept reading...but there were moments when I wanted to stop. The compelling action of the plot doesn't take place until the final chapters of the book. I feel like there are a couple of gimmicks that Keyes uses in place of her usual structure and story, and this frustrated me for most of the book. I have been genuinely moved by past Keyes novels, but sadly, this one doesn't quite deliver.
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