Tuesday, 4 November 2014


“In literature as in love, we are astonished at what is chosen by others.” - André Maurois

For Literary Tuesday today I am reviewing a book that I read while away travelling. This was a book that was given to me by a fellow traveller who had just finished reading it and did not want to keep it, and after I was through with it I passed it on to yet another fellow-traveller as I did not want to keep it (and, I assume, so it goes on…).

When travelling I cannot read any of the usual books I like to read when at home so I opt for something light and easy to digest that does not require much concentration and is easy to put down and pick up again every now and then. The author of today’s book in question is one that is frequently found topping the best-seller lists, Irishwoman Maeve Binchy (her website: http://www.maevebinchy.com/). The book is “Night of Rain and Stars” and this is the synopsis from Maeve Binchy’s site:

“Four strangers, with nothing in common but a need to escape, meet in a Greek taverna high above the small village of Aghia Anna. From Ireland, America, Germany and England, they have each left their homes and their old lives, when a shocking tragedy throws them unexpectedly together.
Fiona is a young nurse, trying to make her family understand her need to follow her own path. Thomas desperately misses his young son and fears that his ex-wife will come between them. Elsa abruptly left her career as a television presenter, but someone from her past refuses to let her go. And shy, quiet David is determined to make a stand against his overbearing father. With these four is Andreas, the taverna owner, who badly misses the son who left home nine years ago and has never returned.
Nights of Rain and Stars is the story of one summer and four people, each with a life in turmoil. With the help of Vonnie, a middle-aged Irishwoman who lives in the village and is now a near-native, they find solutions - though not necessarily the ones they anticipated...”

The book was light and easy to read, rather predictable in its plot and fairly well-written. It is formulaic in its layout and relies on the Greek setting to keep interest up. I found a couple of amusing cultural howlers in it, but overall the Greek setting is convincing. The book has a sprightly conversational style and the right amount of romance versus reality. Gave me ideas about writing a book targetted for the sort of reader Ms Binchy is writing for and I guess when I have few days to spare I might just sit down and write such a bread-and-butter novel. Who knows it may be published and pay for my next trip!

The “Romantic Times” webpage rates this book 4.5 stars (very generously out of five, I presume). In a nutshell, this is what their review boils down to: “Women’s fiction at its best”. This is a characterisation that I do not like, as I think a good book should appeal equally to a good reader whatever their sex, race, nationality or age. However, marketers tells us that writers have to do their market research and target the expected audience suitably, and pander to their expectations accordingly… If a writer wants to make a living out of his writing nowadays, marketing is very important.

Should you wish to read a short story by Maeve Binchy, check out her website as she has a free one for your perusal.

1 comment:

  1. Hmmmm, not sure whether I want to read this after reading your review!