Linda Gillard: Star Gazing

The end of Marianne s visit their navigations of past wounds and future possibilities were so compelling I didn t realize how spoiled I was for the first half of the book until I finished the last half It was if all Marianne and Keir s time together was already spent In Keir s long absences on oil digs Marianne lets doubt and fear slowly take over and the times they are together felt stilted To a certain point I understood her deep rooted feelings of expected loss and heartache much of which originates from her first marriage But after awhile I couldn t help but feel a disconnect between Marianne s true feelings and her actions It was frustrating seeing her make choices with which I disagreed or what I saw as unnecessarily grief inflicting That said I still flew through and enjoyed the latter half particularly the subplot with her sister Louise who is a vampire novelist and the fling with her much younger Goth assistant Garth Entertaining funny stuff I m also randomly wondering how Keir s oft used expression Och sounds and if there s an American English euivalent Star Gazing was impossible to put down and I liked it enough to recommend I m left seriously interested in getting my hands on A Lifetime Burning and any future novels by Gillard Love good endingsWonderful descriptive book and touching and inspiring Why do you have to be able to see to know beauty I wonder I first read Star Gazing in 2009 and whilst I enjoyed it I didn t love it like Emotional Geology or A Lifetime Burning However a few years later I listened to it as an audio book and fell in love with it Like Emotional Geology it is a love story but not a typical one and was on my mind constantly when visiting Skye last yearReread well relistened September 2020 it s still wonderful I first heard about STAR GAZING through Valerie s lovely review over at Life is a Patchwork uilt And I have to thank her for that review because I don t think I would otherwise have come across Linda Gillard s work Gillard is a Scottish author who lived for several years on the Isle of Skye where much of this book takes place From what I can tell her books tend to focus on women above the age of 35 who are dealing with the everyday yet perilous issues of adulthood aging love mental health family etc As such they sounded sort of awesome to me and I immediately placed her most recent book on my wishlist It seemed uniue and appealed to me for several reasons including the fact that the main character is a blind widow The setting was also a draw I have only been to Scotland once but it made a lasting impression on me 55 ust does not do this book ustice It deserves far far I adored this book and yes I adored the hero and am completely in love with himKeir is the hunkiest loveliest man and has ousted the fabulous Mr Darcy as my favourite romantic heroMarianne spiky as she is is wonderful I love herThe story made me laugh cry sob gasp and swoon on several occasionsRead it I read a lot of crap I know I do And as an English teacher it s doubly bad But I like itSometimes however I like to read something that isn t crap Found Linda Gillard on a desperate search when I d run out of Susanna Kearsleys oh what a sad day that was and this is the second book of hers that I ve read and really enjoyedIt took a bit of getting used to Tense changes and person changes and perspective changes within the person changes But I understand why Gillard did it and after a while I got used to it and appreciated the way it added to the story This book also made me appreciate I think maybe a blind person would say it was all balls a little something about how the world is if you can t see Marianne wasn t ust a character who was blind the story was really told through her view I mean I can shut my eyes and imagine how hard it would be to be suddenly blind but I ve never re. Ion to her condition He is abrupt to the point of rudeness and yet oddly 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 star.

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This is the second Linda Gillard book I ve read I really enjoy her as an author In this book you can get a feel of leading a blind life I couldn t wait to read each chapter and really wanted to know what happened to the characters and their relationshipsI find Linda Gillards books an easy engaging and enjoyable read Call me sentimental but I loved this book It made me cry which is OK It ended the way it should have but a little bit of me was hoping it would go the other wayMarianne blind from birth lives with her sister in Edinburgh One night whilst trying to open her front door she drops her keys and a kind stranger walking by helps her They have a rapport but it is fleetingThey bump into each other again and Keir the kind stranger starts to pursue her but as a friend not a lover yetThey go on a mini holiday to his home on Skye and become loversMarianne s backstory is that she was widowed in her 20 s and lost a baby when her husband got killed on the oil rigs off shore As it happens Keir also works on the rigs but he has a special ob as a forecaster of accidentalweather events He has a second sight which he can t explain but has predicted several large events in the past He says he sensed her distress on the night she dropped her keysLovely sad romantic story The narrator was brilliant have for as long as I can remember had a habit of saving new things as the excitement is often in the anticipation It is no surprise to me then that I have been saving Star Gazing This is Linda Gillards third novel and I enjoyed the previous two so much that this new one held a high element of expectation for me Hence the savingI knew from reading an article by the author that this book was somewhat of an experiment for her in that her heroine was blind and that it was written in the first person Well I was not disappointed Linda has done so with great success and I loved this latest addition to her I think varied repertoire No sticking to a formulaic outline for this authorI loved Star Gazing and was glad I had saved it for a time when I knew I could relax and enjoy it without interruptions I did however find it a rather short and uick read I think for that reason alone I still prefer A Lifetime Burning as it was an altogether much substantial novelStar Gazing is an unconventional romance set in Edinburgh and the Isle of Skye with descriptions that will have you enthralled and characters that you will become emotionally involved withAll the protagonists are extremely well portrayed Marianne Louisa Keir and Garth Set in the period of time from the winter of 2006 to the summer of 2007 the story draws you in to the trials and tribulations of the lives of these fourThe fascinating aspect of the story for me was the fact that the main protagonist Marianne was congenitally blind and how well thanks to Linda Gillard s descriptions I was able to understand her experience of life There is one particular scene where Marianne gets lost which had me near to tears with frustration for her Marianne is portrayed as a strong independent woman but this ust makes you realise the difficulties she faces to be so There was also a point in the story where her decisions were making me so angryKeir the man with the chocolate voice love this analogythat Marianne meets by chance shares her passion for music and has a wonderful ability of describing what he is seeing to her I felt at times he was almost too good to be true and he was so patient with Marianne There was at least one occasion I felt I wanted to shout at him not about patience with her physical abilities but when she was making decisions His way of describing sights via musical comparisons was intriguing and something I will certainly think about in futureLousia her sister and Garth who works for Louisa are the minor characters but they make an important contrib. Blind since birth widowed in her twenties now lonely in her forties Marianne Fraser lives in Edinburgh in elegant angry anonymity with her sister Louisa a successful novelist Marianne's passionate nature finds solace and ex.

Ution to the story and both made me laugh relieving some of the sadder elementsTo sum up a modern romance with a uniue angle and enough twists and turns and heartache to make it a captivating highly recommended readAs you will realise if you have read all this review this is a story that will stir your emotions This is the first book I read of Linda Gillard and I did not regret it I was very disapointed with love stories since I haven t found a book that captivated me in a long time but this book did it It tells the story of a blind woman who has gone through a lot of losses in her life but also shows that everything is possible and that age is Ma mre m'a tu - Survivre au gnocide des Tutsis au Rwanda just a number I d like to add that Miss Gillard s writting skills are fantastic and that is a lot to say since it can be appreciated even reading a transla The great obstacle of forty something Edinburghian Marianne Fraser s life has not been her blindness nor her being widowed in her twenties Rather it s been not allowing the fact that she has been blind since birth define her Instead of taking offense to the clich seeing idioms such as watch it are you blind See what I mean May I see that after all the world is defined by sight Marianne uses her sharp wit to dodge pity and normalize herself So when Keir Harvey shows up on her doorstep of the flat she shares with her older sister Louise she knows she s met her match Not because he shares the name Harvey with her late husband or he works as an oil riger but because Keir in his matter of fact nearly insensitive sensibility feels no obligation to apologize for her blindness Their immediate repartee reaches beyond sightokes to the senses that create Marianne s world sound and touch Keir has the uncanny talent for translating visual images into classical musical scores or opera solos so that for the first time Marianne can envision the grandeur of nature and the masterpieces of mankind like cathedrals and skyscrapers She s not sure what to think when after what feels like a relatively brief acuaintance and an undetermined relationship Keir invites her to stay at his home on the secluded island of Skye However she can t turn down such a chance for adventure bring what it mayAfter recently reading and loving Linda Gillard s nearly perfect first novel Emotional Geology I knew I wanted to read Star Gazing And I meant definitely sooner rather than later The refreshingly lyrical and vivid writing combined with the rugged beauty of the Scottish isles ust gets under your skin The characters too stand out as one of a kind in their colorful personalities and tough cores There is also a certain strength in the sparse pointed and witty dialogue which is riveting It certainly doesn t hurt that her books are so intriguingly titled or that the starry cover art for Star Gazing is strikingI m happy to report that Star Gazing meets all of the above Again the author s featured a rather rare type of protagonist this time someone who s never had the gift of sight This may have made me realize my knowledge of music and sound is sorely lacking and my senses are uite dull but it never failed to be an interesting and uniue point of view Without literally being in Marianne s shoes I connected to her small isolated existence Even though she has no comprehension of color I found her world to be very colorful I love what she says about water as it relates to color It s a paradox Things that look colorless to you are my artist s palette Rain is the only thing apart from my sense of touch that gives me any sense of three dimensions Water falling from the sky defines shape size and uality by the sounds it makes when it lands Water colorless Not for meKeir also stands out in his uniuely brilliant comprehension of sound and the environment I love Marianne and him together and found their stay on Skye a real treat I flew through. Pression in music a love she finds she shares with Keir a man she encounters on her doorstep one winter's night Whilst Marianne has had her share of men attracted to her because they want to rescue her Keir makes no concess.

Linda Gillard lives in North Lanarkshire Scotland and has been an actress journalist and teacher She’s the author of eight novels including STAR GAZING short listed in 2009 for Romantic Novel of the Year and the Robin Jenkins Literary Award for writing that promotes the Scottish landscape HOUSE OF SILENCE was a Kindle bestseller selling over 20000 copies in its first year It was select