This review was written 15/07/09
Synopsis (from Shelfari)
Blind since birth, widowed in her twenties, now lonely in her forties, Marianne Fraser lives in Edinburgh in elegant, angry anonymity with her sister, Louisa, a successful novelist. Marianne’s passionate nature finds solace and expression in music, a love she finds she shares with Keir, a man she encounters on her doorstep one winter’s night. While Marianne has had her share of men attracted to her because they want to rescue her, Keir makes no concession to her condition. He is abrupt to the point of rudeness, and yet oddly kind. But can Marianne trust her feelings for this reclusive stranger who wants to take a blind woman to his island home on Skye, to “show” her the stars?
I really liked this but can’t quite put my finger on what it is (yes helpful, I know!). Most of all I liked Keir. He wasn’t perfect, but perfect would have made for a boring book, and I think most of his faults were more mistakes than flaws, which is the best type of fault. Marianne I had a bit of a love/hate relationship with. I admired how strong and independent she was, but at times her logic was so….wonky. I understood it but never agreed, even though I guess parts of it were caused by Keir’s mistakes. I kind of devoured it, I’ve read books faster, but still I only started it Sunday and have been really reading it in my gaps from work, I even almost missed my bus stop on the way to work today! (highlight for spoiler) I was so relieved when they decided to get married at the end, and annoyed at Marianne for not just leaping at the chance. I did expect it to be Keir though and I think it might have been better if we only found out when Marianne did, or at least as close as possible. I guess most people would realise when she sensed him.
I just thought of something else I liked about Star Gazing, or maybe just Linda Gillard’s style in general. It has some of the easiness that chick-lit has- and which is the main reason I read it- but it doesn’t make me feel (for want of a better word) guilty for reading trash. Because it isn’t trash. Even though it has the same love themes that chick-lit has, and I guess to a certain extent the same plotline (you know; boy meets girl, falls in love, there’s a conflict, they break up, they get back together and live hapilly ever after), it’s different. It seems more carefully thought out and research. The characters are characters in their own right rather than the usual 30somethings you find in chick-lit who are all basically the same. And it’s not your usual heroine which makes it seem more…realistic I guess, because they aren’t like the ‘perfect’ girl.
I prefered this one to Emotional Geology, and am looking forward to reading more Linda Gillard.