Monday, January 17, 2011
Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy
4. Nights of Rain and Stars
by Maeve Binchy
second book for Ireland Reading Challenge
Kindle book - 3
This is the last of the newer Maeve Binchy books which I had read years ago but wanted to read again before reading the three latest ones for the first time. I'm quite sure this is my second favorite, after Scarlet Feather. I dearly love this story of people of different ages and from different countries coming together in Aghia Anna, Greece.
The book opens with a horrible explosion on a tourist boat. Some local people are killed as well as many who were visiting. This is a pivotal event in the life of each character. No one is left unchanged by it, even if they weren't close to any of those who died. It is a reminder that life is short.
The tourists who saw the explosion from Andreas' taverna up on the hill form a bond as a result of their experience. They begin to spend time together and talk to one another about their lives. We learn that Andreas and his son had a falling out and haven't been in touch for years. Elsa, a German television newsperson is trying to break away from a relationship. Fiona is in an abusive relationship with Shane, but makes excuses for his awful behavior. David is trying to avoid taking over his father's business. The university professor,Thomas is on sabbatical and attempting to hold onto his son who lives with his ex-wife and her new husband. They become involved with each other and with Vonni, an Irish woman who has lived here a long time and runs a craft shop; Andreas, and his brother, Georgi the policeman, and the various inhabitants of this paradise where they are staying for a time. The book offers lots of really good conversations, and wonderful descriptions of the scenery and the food.
I am very, very fond of Nights of Rain and Stars. I like those people, except for Shane who thankfully doesn't play too big a role. I cared about what would happen in their lives. And I like how Maeve Binchy doesn't offer pat solutions. At the end the characters aren't over the moon happy. They are still progressing with their lives as we all do. I thought it very real. As always, the author's kindly spirit comes through the book offering as much warmth as the Greek sunshine.
I found another review here, which I think you will enjoy reading.