Sunday, 29 May 2011

Book Review -- Star Gazing by Linda Gillard

Star Gazing by Linda Gillard

Authors website:

I won this book on Dizzy C's Little Book Blog and the book was sent to me by the author, who had kindly signed it for me too. I was thrilled. I had never read any of her books before and was not sure what to expect.

The synopsis grabbed me instantly as it was about a woman who had been blind since birth. This resonated with me as my Paternal Grandmother was blind and I appreciate the difficulties a blind person faces. Plus I appreciate their hightened sense of touch and sound.

Blind since birth, widowed in her twenties, now lonely in her forties, Marianne Fraser lives in Edinburgh in elegant, angry anonymity with her sister. Marianne's passionate nature finds solace in music, a love she finds she shares with Keir, the man she encounters on her doorstep one winter's night.

Keir makes no concession to Marianne's condition. He is abrupt to the point of rudeness, yet oddly touchingly 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?

This beautiful, passionate and deeply haunting novel has the power to move and gives hope to even the most fractured heart.

This was one of the most touching and beautifully written books that I have had the fortune to read. The authors beautiful description of the scenery and surroundings in Skye, that need to be 'translated' into a musical comparison for the blind Marianne to understand, was hauntingly amazing. The way Marianne is taught by Keir about the surroundings of Skye by touch and sound, brought back memories of my Grandmother who I used to buy things for that she would 'see' by her touch. The research that the author has put in to the feelings of a blind person and the way they 'see' is truly brilliant. I found myself comparing Marianne to a younger version of my Grandmother.

The book itself is so beautifully written and the relationships between all the characters is warm and loving. The book is a mixture of joy, sadness and apprehension. I have to admit that I did actually cry in places whilst reading the book, which is very unusual for me. I don't want to write what the joy's, sadness and apprehension entail for fear of adding spoilers, so you will have to read it to find out for yourself.

I thoroughly recommend you read this one, but if you are a sucker for a good story, make sure you have plenty of Kleenex at the ready.

I have no other option but to give this wonderful book 5/5.