’Tis the season for romance, second chances, and Christmas cheer with this new novel from Debbie Macomber.
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.
Filled with all the comforts and joys of Christmastime, Starry Night is a delightful novel of finding happiness in the most surprising places. (Goodreads)
As some of you may know, Debbie Macomber is my go-to-author whenever I want to pick up something that makes me warm and cozy.
Par for the course, just like her other books (although I have only read a handful of her books), this book reeled me into the story just by reading the first few paragraphs and I just couldn’t put it down.
The story is interesting – Carrie, an aspiring wanna-be-a-journalist who has been writing for Chicago Herald society page takes a bet challenged by her boss, Nash, that she could write whatever topic of her choice if she could ever track down the reclusive mega-selling author, Finn Dalton whose whereabouts and the identity remains a mystery, and pull off having an interview with him.
Numerous attempts have been made before her but none has been successful. Unperturbed, Carrie goes on a frantic search for whatever clues that could potentially lead to Finn Dalton.
First and foremost, I liked Carrie a lot. I personally think this is one of the qualities Debbie Macomber’s books have, and something you can rest assured; she never – as far as I know – ever portrays her heroines overly sappy and unrelatable. She always portray her main characters in a way that we cannot help but root for them. Carrie was definitely not an exception; I liked how she was determined to do whatever it takes to realize the interview with Finn. She is a strong, independent woman yet also possesses a humility to back down when necessary. I cannot talk much in case you haven’t read this book, but I adored her and identified with her SO MUCH for the decision she makes in the latter part of the book.
The progression and the development of the story is also delightful to follow. I particularly enjoyed and loved the intensity of her first encounter with Finn – the awkwardness hanging in the air was jumping off the pages and the dialogues were so gripping, intense, and compelling. At the same time, I loved how they warm up to each other as time progresses and in particular, how ‘STARRY NIGHT’ is featured in this book.
The romance development between the two main characters – Carrie and Finn – is rather fast-paced, they fall for each other pretty quickly but as the story is partially narrated from two POVs (from Carrie and Finn’s), we get a better insight into what is actually going on inside their heads. It vividly describes how hard they have fallen for each other and how indispensable they have become to their lives. It might come across insta-lovey, but I personally don’t mind insta-love at all. We do fall in love at first sight at times, and it speaks volumes how strong the attraction is. I’m totally okay with that.
In addition to that, their romance doesn’t end up that way – it grows over time and they start to have each others’ best interest at heart. Even Finn, the notoriously reclusive, misanthropic Finn, tries to change himself for the love of Carrie. How sweet is that?
The romance in Debbie’s books in terms of its descriptions – again, as far as I’m concerned – never goes beyond the first base. There are some implications of course, but all we see in her books are hugging, embracing, kisses – from passionate ones to feather-light ones… they are pretty platonic. THAT SAID, for whatever reason, the romance in her books always, always turns my insides all mushy and gooey, making me swoon. Again, this book was no exception and I enjoyed that so much.
Their romance has been going really well, but Carrie’s best friend, Sophie, yes, the nosy Sophie kind of drives a wedge between them and oh gosh, the plot takes a turn for the worse. I don’t think I need to tell you how much Sophie pissed me off for that. I don’t know how many notes with swear words I made while reading the particular scene.
Just as much Debbie knows how to portray her heroine in a pleasant way, she does know how to write UNLIKABLE characters. Another credit to Debbie Macomber!
Although Sophie didn’t remain unlikable, she repents for what she did, but still I don’t particularly like her lol
The only issue that I had with this book was the last two chapters. It felt a bit drab and lackluster compare to the rest of the book. Especially the ending felt a bit rushed for my liking.
Although I appreciate the beautiful denouement, how nicely Debbie tied everything, I couldn’t help but feel a bit underwhelmed.
All in all, this is a nice and sweet holiday read. The descriptions of Finn’s cabin in Alaska actually made me intrigued to visit Alaska. It painted a pretty good picture in my heart and I hope you’ll find it likewise.
I totally enjoyed reading this and I am sure this beautiful cover keeps a special spot on my bookshelf when the festive season rolls around.
My rating: ★★★.75