My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book is an excellent example of something you can read to expand your view of characters with some diversity as the main protagonist is a blind woman.
This book is told in a three part narrative. We read from Marianne (the blind character), Louisa (her sister) and then a strange third person voice that does take some getting used to.
Marianne has LCA (Lebers Congential Amourosis) which is a genetic type of blindness. She was made a widow in her 20’s and has remained as such for almost 20 years. In passing she meets Keir Harvey and a strange attraction between the two is kindled. The challenge of this romance is that Marianne’s dead husband Harvey died horrifically in an oil rig disaster and Keir Harvey is an oil man out and about on oil rigs and in the middle of no-where, for months at a time, searching for oil. They have intense weeks together and then are separated for months at a time. Marianne isn’t a needy girl by any stretch of the imagination but is haunted by the accident that killed her husband.
Star Gazing is a comfortable plot; I mean there isn’t anything unusual about it. Boy meets girl, boy and girl have an issue or two to work out, boy gets girl forever. Lovely. What really makes this book stand out is the way Keir uses words to woo Marianne. She is constantly asking him to describe things to her in ways she can understand and he uses musical terms and pieces to illustrate explanations. Its stunning to visualise things in such a different way.
Star Gazing is a strong book in that it never allows you to forget that Marianne is blind but it never does it in a cloying manner. The sister Louisa also featured strongly in this novel with a budding romance of her own that looks at the ‘rules’ of age differences in a romantic relationship. It is a sweetness all of its own.
Its two romances for the price of one and is a thoroughly acceptable book. I recommend it.