In a vast departure from her typical work centering around one central female protagonist, Marian Keyes introduces an ensemble cast of characters in her latest novel as well as a spiritual entity who tells their tales (captured by Caitriona Keyes’ sing-song voice). Each chapter follows the life of a different member of the motley crew, who all live in the same apartment building in Ireland 66 Star Street but don’t socialize and have no other apparent connection to each other. Matt and Maeve are mismatched, but very in love newlyweds. Katie’s a 40-something publicist for rock musicians and still trying to find some direction. Lydia is an intimidating, crass cab driver roommate to two Polish men. And Jemima is a lonely elderly woman whose source of greatest happiness stems from her adopted son Fionn coming to live with her. The ethereal being (the story’s raconteur) has the ability to float in and out of each apartment and watch all the stories at 66 Star Street unfold unbeknownst to the people living there.
Caitriona Keyes, the author’s sister, narrates the novel with her matronly, Irish accent. It gives the sense that the ethereal being is more of a watchful grandmother, than a young, hip angel. At times, it’s quite strange to hear her ultra-feminine voice describe the thoughts of the Polish men or Katie’s drunken binge on her birthday. But her words are clearly spoken and her pace and comedic timing are on point. Listeners sensitive to a higher-pitched tone might find her lilting voice less than pleasant for the entire 11-hour haul.
Fans of Marian Keyes will be surprised by this new style of storytelling, but pleased that her characteristic self-deprecating humor and ability to keep the listener engaged throughout the entire book remains. Colleen Oakley
A wry and life-affirming novel from the internationally best-selling author.
Marian Keyes's inimitable blend of rollicking humor, effervescent prose, and stories that deal with real-life issues have captivated readers and listeners around the globe. She is one of the best-selling authors of women's fiction in the English-speaking world. Her new novel will delight fans of Candace Bushnell's darkly comic sensibility and Sophie Kinsella's fast-paced action.
The Brightest Star in the Sky follows seven neighbors whose lives become entangled when a sassy and prescient spirit pays a visit to their Dublin townhouse with the intent of changing at least one of their lives. But what will this metamorphosis be and who will the sprite choose?
There's Matt and Maeve, the newlyweds struggling to overcome the first obstacle in their storybook romance; Lydia, the brassy but vulnerable cabbie; Katie, the just-turned-40 PR executive searching for a more gratifying life; and the eldest resident, Jemima, currently playing hostess to her son Fionn, who is in town to star as the hunky gardener in a hot new television show.
Keyes's universal themes and appealing characters have made her an international phenomenon, and are sure to conquer a wider American audience. With The Brightest Star in the Sky, she delivers another satisfying story charming in its wit and surprising in its depth.
©2010 Marian Keyes; (P)2010 Penguin Audiobooks
I love this author, but not enough to listen to this mess. This is the worst of the worst narrators and the whole thing sounds as if they recorded it in their basement using an old tape recorder.
Dog fanatic, loves brit Lit, Classics, Irish Lit, and an Occasional smart chic lit. Audible obsessed. Love my dogs like the good life.
I really enjoyed this story. The characters are rich with personality. The story just plays so well. Marion Keyes is always right on point.
Marian Keyes is one of my favorite authors. I eagerly await her books. I was extremely disappointed with the narrator for this book. She reads without inflection or feeling. I had to stop listening it was so painful.
It was amazing, just beautifully written and read. Wonderful to listen to, but you have to pay attention. There are so many characters, that if you let your mind wonder you will find yourself backtracking. Besides that, you will truly be enthralled by her.
This is my first Marian Keyes book to ever pick up/listen to and I am now hooked.
Just listened for the third time in probably three years. So smart, so fun, so uplifting and important! I laughed, I cried, laughed till I cried. To Dublin or Bust! GF...BF, treat yourself to a feckin good time!
The story might be great. But it was just so hard to understand what they refer to as Catriona Keyes's singsong voice. Sometimes I really couldn't make out the words at all.
I had to change the volume all the time, as the loudness of the recording was constantly changing.
It's a shame - I just couldn't listen to the story to the end, as it was to annoying having to adjust the volume constantly.
I would try another book if it weren't read by this narrator. I have enjoyed several other Keyes books and feel so disappointed by this. I can't follow the many stories being told by the ghost and she cannot vary her voice enough to help with character differentiation.
Professional reader(s) with many voice abilities. Better segues between stories would help as well.
Same voice for all. Not always good to have author and/or relative do the reading. With few exceptions these are different kinds of gifts.
Learned a little about fictional modern life in Ireland...
I really enjoy Marian Keyes books. I have been a long time fan and wish audible would have some of her earlier books. This book was very hard to follow and the narrator was the worst. Her voice was way to high pitched or something, Not a her best and didn't even finish listening to the whole story.
I'm a fan of Keyes' novels, but I very nearly stopped listening to this one. There are MANY different "main" characters and much of the book is dedicated to the backstory of each. It's a bit difficult to keep them all straight initially and the story doesn't move forward for quite some time while you're digesting history.
However, the individual stories of each of the characters develop richly. By the end, characters assumed to be boring are the most interesting and shallow characters gain depth. In Keyes' signature style, serious topics are treated with respect yet tempered with humor and I was completely invested in the characters by the end.
The narration went a bit slow at times, which could be a bit frustrating, but otherwise I thought Caitriona Keyes did a fantastic job.
Honestly, had this story not been by this particular author, I probably would've given up on it. But because she's one of my favorites, I stuck with it and was thankfully rewarded towards the end. But I don't know how much I'd recommend it to others.
I adore Marian Keyes's work, but this book really fell flat for me. I really found the narration to be a problem. I think the subtle wit of the author's written word is lost. I actually read the rest of her books, and I wonder if reading this would have made me enjoy it more.
It took me a very long time to warm up to this ensemble of characters. I recommend Rachel's Holiday if you want to try something by this author. And maybe not as an audiobook, if the narrator is the same.
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