The Brightest Star in the Sky by Marian Keyes is the story of the seven very different residents of 66 Star Street, as told from the point of view of a star on a mission. We, as readers, don't know what the star's mission is (in fact, we don't find out what it is until the last quarter of the book) but we do know that he has 60 days to complete his task and that he's all on his own until then. The only problem is that the star isn't sure who the subject of his mission is, so we get to meet all of the very different residents of 66 Star Street. There's Katie, inhabiting the fourth floor, who works in PR and is pushing 40. She isn't sure about much of anything right now, especially how to pick the right man. Below her, on the third floor, lives Andrei and Jan, Polish brothers earning money to support their family back home and Lydia, their spitfire Irish roomate with a barbed-wire personality. Jemima and her dog, Grudge, live on the floor below. Jemima is 88 and works for a psychic hotline, but only so that she can make sure that the young women who call her don't end up wasting too much of their money on the calls. Finally, Matt and Maeve live on the main floor. They appear to be as close as one couple can be, doing everything together, but beneath their sunny exterior something seems to be missing.
The star has his work cut out for him as he begins to infiltrate the resident's memories and shadow them so that he can figure out who it is he is supposed to help. The residents certainly keep him hopping, as they fall into one bad relationship after another, and have bizzare sexual encounters. As the clock ticks down we begin to wonder- will the star be able to complete his mission in time? Will the residents of 66 Star Street be able to find their happy endings?
It will come as no surprise to anyone who regularly visits this blog that I loved this book. The characters were quirky and lovable, even crotchety old Jemima and strange Lydia. This isn't your average chick-lit, though, as there's very little that's "fluffy" about the topics that Marian Keyes writes about. Keyes writes about some very serious issues, one that are bound to have affected the readers in some way, no matter how remotely (in an effort to prevent plot spoilers, I won't say what they are). She manages to insert these issues in among well-written and intelligent chick-lit, and she reveals her plot tantalizingly slowly, leaving the reader racing to reach the end to discover the conclusion. Keyes even managed to surprise me a little by injecting an unexpected plot twist into the epilogue.
Both new and old Marian Keyes fans will love her latest, The Brightest Star in the Sky. A big thank-you to Barbara and Bronwyn at Penguin Canada for this review copy. This book is on sale as of today, November 3! You can take a peek inside this book here.
*Please note: My review copy was an ARC, meaning that it was not a final published copy.*