To call the books of Irish novelist Marian Keyes “chicklit” is to truly undervalue them. On the surface, they deal with women falling in love, breaking up with boyfriends, getting back together, etc. But all of her works have an underlying seriousness and intention which raises them far above the typical beach/airport book.
The Brightest Star in the Sky is no exception. It has, in fact, much more depth and feeling than other books I’ve read by Keyes.
At the start someone (perhaps an angel?) is flying over the streets of Dublin. Finally landing at 66 Star Street, this being looks into the homes and lives of the inhabitants. And what is the purpose of this visitation? You’ll have to read this and see.
And who are the inhabitants of 66 Star Street? Maeve and Matt, a young married couple so in love their hearts beat as one. Jemima, an elderly psychic with a psycho dog named Grudge. Jemima hosts her foster son, Fionn, who is in Dublin to tape a TV show. Katie, a music executive who has just turned 40 and whose boyfriend keeps breaking dates with her due to his work. Lydia, an intense young cab driver who shares the flat of two Polish immigrants.
These characters are all real people, with real and serious problems. Keyes herself has struggled with depression, and she seems to have a special insight and compassion for the struggles of her characters. At 460 pages this is not an easy read, but well worth the effort.
Published in hardcover-Viking-2010
Softcover edition-Penguin 2011
The Brightest Star in the Sky: A Novel