Here is the story of old Andreas, the gentle taverna owner who has spent many years regretting the argument that drove his only son to America; Elsa, the beautiful German reporter who gave up her television career and the man she loves once she learned the secret he hid from her; and Fiona, the Irish nurse and dutiful daughter, who's gone off to travel with the man everyone says is wrong for her, determined to show them all, even if everyone is right. This is also the story of David, the only son who loves his family but not the family business; Thomas, the Californian who is able to cope with his recent divorce but not with sharing his son with his wife's new husband; and Vonni, who rashly left behind her life in Ireland to follow her true love to this village 30 years ago, and who is wise for everyone but herself.
A story that only Maeve Binchy could tell, told with the authenticity, charm, and grace that are her trademark, Nights of Rain and Stars will be rightly cherished by her millions of fans around the world.
©2004 Maeve Binchy; (P)2004 Penguin Audio and BBC Audiobooks America
"Binchy excels in the art of the character-driven plot....Redolent of the life-affirming enthusiasm that is Greek village life, Binchy's newest is a rich homage to meaningful relationships." (Booklist)
"Binchy again proves herself a master storyteller....A great read." (USA Today)
I normally like Maeve Binchy's novels but this was a disappointment. One of Ms. Binchy's strengths are the characters but unfortunately in this story, too many--though not all--of the characters were contrived. There were exceptions; the characters of Vonnie and Andreas felt authentic and multi-dimensional. The narrator was also a disappointment. Having listened to Terry Donnelly previously, I was surprised by the flatness of the dialogue.
Maeve Binchy creates characters that seem so real that you just expect the book to continue on as their lives continue on. I was depressed when it ended...And I could not keep learning about these wonderful people and their lives. I think that this production was also well done. I enjoyed the accent of the reader...but then I have listened to many Binchy books before. Listen to this book...you will not regret it!
Binchy's famous for her characters, but these struck me as stereotyped, without much real depth. The narrator doesn't do accents or voice characters well, so sometimes it's hard to understand which character is speaking. Binchy shifts from character to character and scene to scene abruptly, so the narrator's inability to distinguish the characters is especially galling.
Overall, it was a boring book, and I was glad to finish it.
For fans of Binchy's stories of people who come to know and enjoy each other, this will not disappoint, and it is in an exotic Greek setting, unusual for her. The diverse cast of characters grow and change, in a way that warms the heart. There is a big downside, however, in the reader. The narration is affected and tired sounding, with bad accents, to the point where it's very hard to listen to.
We listened to this while driving cross country. It was a bit like watching a mini-series. The main plot is on track with several little side plots to enhance the story. The wife and I both enjoyed the story, and wished it would have wrapped up to a bit cleaner of a conclusion. Nonetheless, it was entertaining and a bit "real".
I loved this book - I did not want it to end. I felt like I was with them on this trip. The story teller had me wanting more. I was very sad that is book ended
I have enjoyed every single one of Maeve's books so far and this was no exception. Her manner of spinning the tales of so many lives and getting us, the reader, invested in all of their affairs is amazing.
This story takes place on a small Greek island where five people are at a small taverna with the owner and witness a boat explosion. They see the deaths of tourists and locals and each witness is affected in their own way. And that is how Maeve introduces most of the characters of the story.
Somehow, while keeping us enraptured in the happenings of the "now" on the island; she also manages to sweep us into their lives before the island. And then we want to know what happens after. The five friends end up being four as one does not fit in. But, everyone has issues and woes which do not get solved in one day or the weeks they are there but by the end of their time on the island each one is resolved to do "something" to fix their situation.
It was a beautiful tale of looking at relationships through the eyes of each person involved: mother and child, lover and lover, husband and wife, father and son, etc. Each person sees the relationship differently and finds it difficult to see it through the eyes of the other person. It was a great story, I recommend to it anyone that loves self discovery stories with lots of lessons and a little bit of love. :)
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