Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Review of STARRY NIGHT: A Christmas Novel by Debbie Macomber

Debbie Macomber 

Ballantine Books, October 8th 2013, Hardcover 256 pages
Romance, Holiday Fiction, Chick Lit
4.5 out of 5 stars
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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 mega-bestselling 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.

My review
Wonderfully romantic Christmas flick...sometimes all a girl needs is a sweet break with some uncomplicated escapism. Debbie Macomber clearly played with one of the most winning romance formulas: an unlikely couple (an emotionally wounded alpha male and a kind female lead) forced to come face-to-face in a secluded setting (a log cabin on a frozen lake in Alaska), just to confront an immediate attraction and deep emotional issues. Beauty and The Beast, if you will. 

The novel is unusually short, something in between a novella and a full-length novel, and this is possibly the reason why the narrative seems to rush its steps, squeezing the normal stages of the enamourment in the space of a night, one very starry night. 

"When she stepped outside, [...] her gaze went to the star-filled heavens. In all her life, Carrie had never seen so many stars. Thousands upon thousands of pinpricks of twinkling light dotted the sky, mesmerizing her."

At times, the love spark is hard to ignite. Some other times, it strikes through the night sky like a shooting star. The way we fall in love remains a mystery: attraction happens in a heartbeat, putting together distant worlds and opposite personalities. So, in the end everything works out sweetly and gracefully for our characters, although in an urgent fashion.

Starry Night doesn't feature some of the typical assets of a romance novel. It lacks the trademark angst and sensuality, but it packs a good punch of chemistry between characters.

"The air between them sizzled and arched much like the northern lights, even as they both chose to ignore [it]. The electricity between them was powerful enough to light up a city block."
 All in all, Macomber's Christmas novel is a delectable read, perfectly suitable for the holiday season.

****e-copy graciously provided by the publisher through NetGalley in return for an unbiased and honest opinion


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