The Brightest Star in the Sky opens with an unknown entity, with an unnamed task, flying over the streets of Dublin, Ireland, hunting for an address - 66 Star Street. Once located the entity? fairy? spirit? enters through the roof and starts some reconnaissance.
There are four apartments at 66 Star Street. Through the eyes of the visitor we come to know the lives of each of the inhabitants intimately and the entity's task is slowly revealed. Clues are eked out if you pay attention.
Marion Keyes has done a phenomal job of creating characters you can actually believe in and care about - people you'd like to actually know. Not all are lovable and I changed my mind several times about each of them. Even the dog speaks his mind. (I'm actually quite taken by Grudge the dog - he's very funny) Strangers at first, the inhabitant's lives begin to intersect - new relationships are formed, old ones are cast aside. Secrets are kept and revealed, some good and some hurtful. I'd rather not detail the characters themselves as I think it's more fun to discover them yourself as you read.
Each chapter heading is a countdown of days, beginning at 60, leading me to wonder what happens at day one. Keyes takes seemingly disparate story lines, magically weaving them together.
When I first received this book for review, I thought 600 pages! But you know, I never got bogged down and was enthralled from start to finish, turning the last page with regret. Chick lit - yes - but with a little bit more. A magical tale that I truly enjoyed!
If you haven't discovered this Irish writer, what are you waiting for? A good one to curl up with over the holidays.
( You can read the first chapter of The Brightest Star in the Sky.)