Thursday, May 25, 2006


This selection was recently a Popular Library ("7-day") book. The reviewer wanted to make sure you did not miss this noteworthy title. You can now check it out for 21 days!

Jessie G. Marshall reviews NIGHTS OF RAIN AND STARS by Maeve Binchy (Dutton, 2004).

When local tragedy strikes in the small Greek village of Aghia Anna, the lives of four tourists become unexpectedly intertwined with each other and with the lives of the local people. A fire onboard a sightseeing boat, which kills both tourists and villagers, is witnessed from a hill-top taverna by Elsa, the German broadcast journalist; Thomas, the American writer and literature professor; David, a young Englishman; and Fiona, an Irish nurse. In addition to being on an actual journey, each of these characters is also on an emotional pilgrimage, for they are all struggling to figure out thorny personal issues. The secondary characters of Andreas, the owner of the taverna, and Vonni, an Irish woman who has lived on the island for many years, seek to influence the pivotal decisions of the four foreigners in order to prevent the young people from making the sort of poor decisions that have colored their own lives with regret. Because of the guidance and support received on the island, each visitor leaves Greece with a clear vision as to the right direction for his/her future.

This book is light and fast-paced with its focus being on the characters and how their lives become involved with the lives of the islanders. As each of the tourists seeks counsel from Andreas and Vonni, both of whom stress the unique importance of family relationships and the rare gift of second chances, the warmth of the close-knit community comes across.

Readers who have enjoyed Elizabeth Von Arnim’s The Enchanted April or Mary Stewart’s The Moonspinners would also find this character-driven story set in an exotic locale pleasurable reading.

Jessie G. Marshall, Business and Science Department


Book Excerpt
Maeve Binchy's website Interview

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