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Nights Of Rain And Stars [Kindle Edition]

Maeve Binchy
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Four strangers cross paths in a tiny Greek seaside village in this thin but engaging new novel by bestselling Binchy (Quentins; Circle of Friends). When tragedy strikes the smalltown of Aghia Anna in the form of a devastating fire on a tourist pleasure boat—24 people are killed—elderly barkeeper Andreas and craft-shop owner Vonni find themselves host to a random assortment of travelers who watch the conflagration from Andreas's taverna. There is Elsa, the German beauty who is trying to flee from love; David, the quiet young Englishman whose demanding father wants him to go into the family business; Thomas, the American professor who struggles to share his son with his ex-wife's new husband; and Fiona, the Irish nurse who follows her abusive boyfriend despite the warnings of her friends and family. As these strangers become friends, the mysterious Vonni, an Irish woman whose Greek is fluent and whose respected position in town is unquestioned, explores her own memories of heartache, as does Andreas. Unwilling to see their new friends repeat their mistakes, Andreas and Vonni set out to influence the hearts of this motley bunch of foreigners before they leave the village. The setup is flimsy, and the bonds the characters develop are too slender to provide much emotional texture, but Binchy's fans will enjoy this summery page-turner.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

In perennially popular Binchy's latest, four strangers on holiday in Greece band together after witnessing a tragic boating accident to become friends, and lovers, in an enchanting story that explores the mercurial nature of friendships and the elusive meaning of family. Residents of different countries, the four vacationers discover a commonality: a desire to escape contentious family situations back home. A newly divorced father, Thomas has taken a year's sabbatical to give his young son time to acclimate to his new stepfather. David, a timid Englishman, knows he's disappointing his successful father by not taking over the family business. Elsa, a glamorous German TV reporter, has walked out on a tumultuous love affair, while Fiona is defying family and friends in Ireland by running off with her rebellious boyfriend. Serendipitously, two locals, Andreas and Vonni, befriend the travelers and help them gain perspectives that will put their unsettled lives in order. A beloved storyteller, Binchy excels in the art of the character-driven plot. Although her characters are not necessarily complex, the stories she weaves around them are tales as compelling for their surprises as they are comforting in their sympathetic warmth. Redolent of the life-affirming enthusiasm that is Greek village life, Binchy's newest is a rich homage to meaningful relationships. Carol Haggas
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 474 KB
  • Print Length: 340 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0451224116
  • Publisher: Signet; Reprint edition (June 28 2005)
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars luminous page-turner Aug. 18 2004
Binchy has done it again! I love a tightly written novel, and she can write them. NIGHTS OF RAIN AND STARS is about four people as disparate as the seasons and from all points on the compass, yet what is wondrous about this book is how Binchy exposes, in subtle ways, with pitch-perfect detail, their overwhelmingly similar humanity. This is a glorious yet easy yet very intelligent read. Highly recommended!
I also recommend, for the same reasons, the great book club novel A SECRET WORD, by Jennifer Paddock.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage Binchy Oct. 7 2013
By Alison S. Coad TOP 50 REVIEWER
In "Nights of Rain and Stars," by Maeve Binchy, we meet four disparate travelers, all spending time in the tiny village of Aghia Anna in Greece: Fiona from Dublin is traveling with her boyfriend Shane, of whom her family disapproves; German Elsa has fled her high-profile life as a television presenter and her even higher-profile lover Dieter; Englishman David is trying to escape his father's demands that he enter into the family business when he really wants to study pottery and play music; and American Tom is on sabbatical, simultaneously trying to give his young son space to bond with his mother's new husband and desperate to maintain his own bonds with his son. The four of them meet in a taverna run by Andreas, where they all watch in horror as a tragedy unfolds in the harbour below, and from that dreadful beginning, new bonds are forged.... This is vintage Binchy, gentle without shying away from horrific events and behaviours, and complete with the sometimes gentle, sometimes acerbic older woman (in this case, Vonni, an Irish woman who has lived in the Greek village for decades) who dispenses wisdom and life lessons at the drop of a hat. As ever, I enjoyed these characters and their stories, although I felt less engaged with them than I have with some of the author's other works; in any event, a gentle and moving book to read in the quiet days of early Fall!
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By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio Cassette
If you are looking for a classic Maeve Binchy novel about modern times and problems in Dublin, Nights of Rain and Stars will be a disappointment. The Irish connection is there, but it's weaker than the Greek connection. I listened to the Audio CD version and found that the dramatic reading by Ms. Terry Donnelly took an average (at best) novel and made it reasonably entertaining. This is not a book you want to read. Listen to the recording instead. Trust me on that.

As the book opens a small group of travelers find themselves at a hilltop taverna in Aghia Anna, Greece run by an older man, Andreas who pines for his missing son, Adonas. As they overlook the sea, all are aghast as a tourist boat burns with grisly results. All of the tourists think, what if? They had earlier been out on that boat. The shared reaction to the tragedy causes them to cling to one another and to re-examine their lives. A powerful chain of circumstances is set off when Andreas insists that they each call their loved ones to let them know that they are safe so the news reports won't be frightening.

The diners are the beautiful, famous Elsa from Germany who is fleeing from a lover who has disappointed her; Fiona, an Irish nurse who has cast off her job to be with the man of her dreams, Shane; Shane, an Irish caricature of the unfeeling brute of a young man who is only interested in himself and wants no responsibilities; David, a gentle young Englishman who wants to escape from running the family business; and Thomas, a divorced American professor who wants to give his young son, Bill, space to get used to his new step-father, Andy.

The characters are all quite shallow and follow trite formulas in the plot that keep them from being objective about themselves.

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3.0 out of 5 stars Bright, not compelling Dec 20 2012
By Cee Ess
I liked the way the book's beginning pulled the reader into the little world of a Greek island. It switches storylines between four vacationers and a few of the islanders, all with different but intertwining plights. Binchy drew on various backgrounds for this tale, but it struggled in its consistency. The stories are interesting on their own, but somewhat contrived when pieced together to make them fit. As a whole, the book has a bright quality in sunny Greece, but tries too hard to weave pieces into one fabric. I didn't find the characters as real as in "The Scarlet Feather" and therefore I didn't have a vested interest in what happened to them.

Also, the title could have been better - there was some rain in the book, but not enough for it to be in the title. When I think of Greece, I don't associate with rain. The book wasn't a waste of time though, I generally enjoyed reading it.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A Bunny Book June 16 2006
What do I mean by a bunny book, full of fluff, cute and adorable. I had to read this for my bookclub, so also was sadly committed to finishing it. I'm an avid reader, but had a hard time getting into this book...the first 200 pages took forever, as I would fall asleep after reading 2 or 3 pages.

On top of being boring, the characters are not developed well(flat) too many "eye rolling" conveniences, and no emotion or feeling.

This is the 3rd Binchy book I've tried, and worst by far. The other two were not much better. My club members almost had me convinced to read Tara Road, as they said it was by far a way better book. I decided to give that one a try, but after reading the 1, 2, and 3 star reviews,I think this Binchy book will be my last...a big thanks to the Tara Road reviewers.
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