Reviews provided by Syndetics
Library Journal Review
This appealing novel by the author of This Charming Man explores the lives and loves of the residents of a Dublin town house by way of a wandering spirit. At its heart are relationships, romantic and familial, and the multigenerational characters have their own individual quirks. Watching each of them grow, change, and love through the eyes of an innocent yet determined spirit makes for some very entertaining reading. The resolution is neat but not pat, and the real reason for the spirit's visit to 66 Star Street makes for a sweet twist at the end. Verdict Much has been said about the "new generation" of chick lit, but Keyes has been writing thoughtful novels about women's lives for years. She isn't afraid to tackle thorny subjects, but her appealing, relatable characters and gentle humor keep the tone light. Readers who enjoy intelligent, humorous women's fiction (a la Jennifer Weiner) should give Keyes a try. [See Prepub Alert, p. 41.]-Nanette Donohue, Champaign P.L., IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Keyes delivers a dizzying vertical view of the mismatched, mixed-up tenants of Dublin's 66 Star Street, friends and lovers who grow up, grow old and give way to their "heart currents" with help from a puckish sprite. This multitiered saga of Dubliners searching for "the brightest star in the sky... the planet of love" straddles slapstick and sophistication in an engaging balancing act both giddy and grand. Here's Katie, publicist, freshly 40, and her workaholic, commitment-phobic fella, Conall; newlyweds Maeve and Matt, who hide a violent and crippling secret that binds them and drives them apart; madcap, sassy Lydia, a taxi driver who juggles worries about her aging mom and an over-the-top passion (mixed with equal parts lust and disdain) for her sexy flatmate; plucked from nowhere hunk Fionn, who hopes to begin a TV career, and his psychic foster mom and her mean-as-a-snake dog who improbably helps bring all the sweet mayhem to a satisfying close. Keyes (This Charming Man) is an expert at weaving dark threads into cozy material, and in this ambitious outing, she's in top form. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
A mysterious spirit is hovering over the building at 66 Star Street in Dublin, and this spirit is on a mission to change someone's life. The spirit, however, is unclear on whom this someone will be. It could be Matt and Maeve, the newlyweds suffering with a terrible secret. Or Lydia the cabbie, who rooms with two sullen Polish nationals and spends most of her time worrying about her mother. Or maybe Katie, the newly 40 PR person with a flash job and a flashier boyfriend but who is still unfulfilled. Or Jemima, the elderly psychic, currently hosting her adopted son, Fionn, while he auditions for a TV show. The spirit slides back and forth between floors, hiding in shoes and peeking at photographs, learning all it can about the Star Street residents, and in doing so unknowingly interlocks each person's life with his or her neighbors', whether they like it or not. While the premise may sound silly, popular Keyes expertly develops it to create genuinely human and believable characters within a substantial and gratifying story.--Hatton, Hilary Copyright 2009 Booklist
Kirkus Book Review
Latest doggedly life-affirming romance from the prolific Irish bestseller (This Charming Man, 2008, etc.), this one set in a Dublin apartment house. A narrating "spirit" floats among the flats desperate to make sure that at least one romance among the tenants succeeds. Music publicist Katie is frustrated in her relationship with workaholic/chocoholic Conall, a genuine charmer even though he earns his fortune downsizing corporations. Lydia, a tough cookie of a cab driver, keeps falling into sex with her Polish flatmate, even though they hate each other. Octogenarian Jemima, who has psychic powers, is thrilled when her blazingly handsome foster son, small-town gardener Fionn, comes to stay while filming a TV series. Soon Katie has dumped Conall and taken up with Fionn, who has become a local star, while Conall has become Lydia's unlikely boyfriend. As their comic banter flies, a darker, more poignant plot line follows Matt and Maeve, a young married couple troubled by a secret that threatens their genuine devotion. Thanks to the sporadically all-knowing spirit, readers gradually learn the tenants' back stories, from Lydia's struggle to care for her increasingly demented mother to the violence perpetuated against Maeve by her former boyfriend, a political activist who gets his just reward in an act of supernatural vengeance. (It's interesting, albeit disquieting, that Keyes' one true villain is a leftist do-gooder, her ultimate hero a corporate downsizer.) The author endows her characters with small idiosyncrasies and imperfections that make them seem more fully developed than they actually are. The narrative is strictly formula: comedy, pathos and shallow spiritual uplift mixed with food and fashion. As partners mix and match, who will end up with whom is never truly in doubt, and the leisurely buildup climaxes in a strained ending with crises and happy resolutions rushing by. Trite, but Keyes' lively wit makes it go down easily. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.