Monday, January 17, 2011

Nights of Rain and Stars by Maeve Binchy

4. Nights of Rain and Stars
by Maeve Binchy
fiction, 2004
second reading
second book for Ireland Reading Challenge
Kindle book - 3
finished, 1/15/11

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.


  1. I haven't read any Maeve Binchy, but this review makes me want to begin with Nights of Rain and Stars!

  2. 1st I love the new blog banner at the top. So cute! 2nd - thanks for the reminder that I haven't read a Maeve Binchy book in a long time. I love her writing and now I need to put her back on my to be read list.

  3. I have Scarlet Feather which I haven't read yet...your review makes me want to ditch everything that I've got going and pull it out!!!

  4. I found Nights of Rain and Stars to be such an enjoyable read as well and appreciate your "take" on it here. I was surprised in reading it as it was a different setting than Binchy's other books, but, that made it all the more pleasant. I like surprises now and then.

  5. Just had a good peruse through your blog and I love it. We too are farming, if you can call it that, on 3 acres in the hills in north-west Ireland. Love cookin too.

  6. I haven't read any of Binchy's work in years and I'm not sure why because I always enjoyed it when I did.

  7. You have really piqued my interest with all of these Binchy reviews. If you had to pick just one for me to start with, which would it be?

  8. Nan, thanks so much for this review! I have had this book on my to read mountain for so long and I hadn't known anyone that had read it. Sounds like a great one! I love Maeve Binchy's books!

  9. Thank you, Jenclair! It is really so good.

    Karla, how very nice to hear from you!! I have the blog header picture framed in my house. I found it in a retro diner that sold old magazines and ads. Of course I couldn't resist this one. :<) Have you read all of Maeve's books??

    Staci, you will be happy if you do!

    Life on the cutoff, I liked the setting too. Evening Class spends some time in Italy which was also fun.

    Brigette, thanks so much for coming by and leaving a note!

    Bermuda Onion, I hadn't read her in a long time, either, and am so happy to be doing so again.

    Les, if you want to meet the characters who come up in later books, probably Evening Class would be the best. But honestly, it doesn't matter all that much. Here's a list of them in order of publication:

    Sherri, I really enjoyed this book, the second time just as much as the first!

  10. I love Maeve Binchy stories, I've imposed a challenge upon myself to read them all. It's like putting on a comfortable pair of slippers, you just slip into the stories of ordinary people, beautifully described.


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