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Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy
It was so hard to read a thin, shallow novel from one of my favorite novelists. This is not Maeve Binchy at her best. Scarlett Feather, Tara Road, Evening Class - these were rich, meaty novels with loveable, flawed characters who faced the pain of life with such humanity. But Nights of Rain and Stars, well, it feels like she was pressured by her publisher to crank another one out, and she just couldn't think of a good story.
The novel takes four people and puts them on a beautiful Greek Island, thows in a tragedy that brings them together, and then takes them down predictable roads to uninspiring conclusions. The vehicle of the four people running away from something all brought together and forging false bonds just feels so contrived. And the characters? Possibly with the exception of Vonni, the older woman who made the isle her home 40 years beofe, the novel's characters are not sufficiently developed. How could they be in fewer than 300 pages? That's part of the problem. There's just not enough of this book. It's almost as if Maeve herself couldn't get any interest in the story.
Now, before I get too negative, a poor Maeve Binchy is better than a terrific somebody else, but this is my least favorite of her otherwise warm, inviting novels. If you've not read her before, pick up Evening Class instead. A thumbs down for Nights of Rain and Stars, the new bestseller in hardback from Maeve Binchy. On the Book Beat for KSL Newsradio 1160, I'm Amanda Dickson