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23 December 2013

Review: 'Starry Night' by Debbie Macomber (2013)

Carrie Slayton, a big-city society-page columnist, longs to write more serious news stories. So her editor hands her a challenge: She can cover any topic she wants, but only if she first scores the paper an interview with Finn Dalton, the notoriously reclusive author. 

Living in the remote Alaskan wilderness, Finn has written a megabestselling memoir about surviving in the wild. But he stubbornly declines to speak to anyone in the press, and no one even knows exactly where he lives.

Digging deep into Finn’s past, Carrie develops a theory on his whereabouts. It is the holidays, but her career is at stake, so she forsakes her family celebrations and flies out to snowy Alaska. When she finally finds Finn, she discovers a man both more charismatic and more stubborn than she even expected. And soon she is torn between pursuing the story of a lifetime and following her heart.

Thanks to the lovely people at Random House I received a review copy of Debbie Macomber’s 2013 Christmas novel, ‘Starry Night.’ I stumbled upon this book while looking around on the Internet and I immediately couldn’t stop looking at the cover. It’s simply gorgeous, isn’t it? I’d love to spend a Christmas in a log cabin in the middle of nowhere, watching the sky for falling stars... What could possibly be more romantic? I hadn’t read anything by Debbie Macomber before, but after a bit of research I discovered that she hasn’t only written more than 100 novels, but also owns her own tea room, ‘Victorian Rose Tea Room’, and her own yarn store, ‘A Good Yarn.’ Wow, what an inspiration! I couldn’t wait to read ‘Starry Night’ and secretly found myself hoping I’d straight away like Debbie Macomber’s style, because that means I’ll have plenty of books waiting for me! 

Carrie Slayton is getting tired of her job as a reporter for the society page for a Chicago newspaper. After two years of visiting and writing about parties, she is ready to write a bigger and more serious piece. She is given the chance to do just that, the big opportunity she has been waiting for, but it involves finding reclusive author Finn Dalton. The author of a chart topping survival book has never done any interviews before, and all Carrie has is a lead to Alaska. With a bit of luck, she manages to find the log cabin where Finn lives, in the absolute middle of nowhere. However, he isn’t at all thrilled with this unexpected visit from a reporter and Carrie realises it will take some hard work to get the interview she is after from this stubborn, but at the same time incredibly attractive, man...

I really liked the basic plotline of this novel and the characters at its core. Carrie is a likeable main character and I instantly wanted her to succeed; she is an independent and ambitious woman, and I found myself rooting for her to find Finn and to get that big break she had been longing for. Finn is the stereotypical image of an isolated man who is in touch with nature, stays away from civilization, and immediately makes any female heart beat that little bit faster. I was really captivated by Finn and his background, and I loved learning more about him. 

There is a wonderful wintery atmosphere in the novel that suits this time of year perfectly. I loved the scene setting of the novel, particularly the contrast between busy Chicago city life and calm, beautiful Alaska. The only thing I would have preferred is for the novel to have been longer; the book’s a little over 200 pages, placing it somewhere between a novella and a regular novel. I really enjoyed the characters and the storyline and I definitely would not have minded if it had all been a bit longer! Overall, ‘Starry Night’ is a light and stunning read with a warm tale of romance at its centre, and a book I recommend to anyone looking for a quick read during the holiday season!


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