The Brightest Star in the Sky
THE BRIGHTEST STAR IN THE SKY, a novel by bestselling author Marian Keyes, covers a two-month span in the lives of the tenants at 66 Star Street, Dublin. The story opens on the top floor at Katie’s fortieth birthday party. She’s dating Conall, a filthy rich workaholic businessman who travels incessantly. Katie adores him, but, unimpressed with his wealth, she finds him to be unreliable. Remaining true to her standards, Katie ends their relationship. Shocked and in disbelief, Conall initially tries to win Katie back, unsuccessfully. So he starts dating . . .
Lydia, who lives on the third floor, one floor down from Katie. This young, independent, rough and tumble taxi driver is busy dealing with family problems, an elusive boyfriend, and her pesky Polish flat mates Andrei and Jan. At first, she has no interest in the attention of an older guy, even if he is rich. But Conall, who’s accustomed to getting what he wants, persistently pursues Lydia until she agrees to go out with him, though she finds his affection amusing, at best.
Meanwhile, Katie falls head over heels for charming, down-to-earth Fionn, who recently moved from the countryside to Dublin so he can star in a new gardening television show. Fionn lives on the second floor with his elderly psychic foster mum Jemima and her dog Grudge. Down on the ground floor live Maeve and Matt, a young married couple who at first glance appear to be happy until we discover they never have sex and they take antidepressants with their breakfast instead of vitamins. What’s their secret problem?
The story is narrated by an invisible pixie sprite “spirit” who hovers and weaves her way around the lives of these delightfully quirky characters, observing, studying, learning, and evaluating via the vibes emitted by each character. Wonderfully witty, Keyes doles out the details one block at a time, raising a skyscraper of questions and keeping her readers captivated.
Most perplexing is the role of the spirit. She seems to be there on an urgent mission, but what is her assignment? Why is she lurking around 66 Star Street? Though the main characters share a building, they don’t know each other well until a tragedy brings them together, revealing their true natures.
Initially published in January 2010, The Brightest Star in the Sky was re-released on July 26, 2010 in paperback. Highly recommended.