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on 22 July 2005
I absolutely loved this book. It is poignant, interesting, perceptive, riveting and laugh-out-loud funny. Like the heroine's St. Bernard (foisted off onto her as a "Cornish terrier"), Harriet's self-knowledge keeps on growing. Victoria Clayton's books have charm, and none more so than this one. Because it is written in the first person, we learn about Harriet through her own eyes, realizing by the end of the book just what a loveable person she is.
Incidentally, Victoria Clayton's books should be read in order, as each one allows the reader to learn what happened after the end of the preceding one.
Enjoy! All readers of Rosamunde Pilcher and Marcia Willett will love this author.
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on 14 October 2004
'Clouds Among the Stars' is a beautifully written book. The Byng family are both tragic and hilarious, the plot is wonderfully thought out and the Shakespearean references, far from being preaching, fit perfectly into the book. The characters are immensely likable for all their flaws, and the ending is little short of perfect! A lovely book to cheer you up.
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Harriet is the daughter of Waldo Byng - a famous actor. Along with her brother and sisters - all named after Shakespearean characters - she has no need to look for a job. The arrest and imprisonment of her famous father means that Harriet and her siblings must do something to support the household. Harriet's attempt at earning her living gives her confidence, though she is not at all sure about the financial help the family gets from Rupert - a fixture during her childhood.
Amoral and eccentric characters including the delicious Archie, who lives with Rupert, and a phantom filled stay over Christmas at a ramshackle house party in the country, produce laugh out loud funny scenes. The characters all sparkle and the settings are brought vividly to life.
This needs to be read curled up with a box of chocolates and a glass of wine. If you enjoyed Moonshine then you'll love this - social/romantic comedy at its best. It would make an excellent film or TV series.
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on 2 November 2009
Another wonderful book by victoria Clayton. She writes books for those of us who enjoy a little romance but don't want to have to leave our brains behind when we open a book. As usual the characters are all larger than life and inhabit a realm that if it ever really existed appears to be gone forever. Don't be put off by the idea of a murder, it's just a plot device to force the heroine out into the world. I laughed out loud on countless occasions and am looking forward to reading it again.
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on 1 May 2015
I have enjoyed several of Victoria Clayton's books in the past but this one is an insult to one's intelligence. The characters are flat, predictable caricatures, hiding behind random quotes from Shakespeare and Italian phrases, and the plot is ridiculous. In addition, the very unfunny topics of rape and drugs crime are trivialised. My Kindle says I have reached 20% of this nonsense and this is where I will stop. I have wasted enough of my life reading this book.
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on 2 March 2015
I enjoy Victora Clayton's books. I suppose they are chick lit but with emphasis on the lit! That is, they are well written. This one is enjoyable, a good story based in an eccentric, acting family one of whose members faces a charge of murdering an acting rival. The characters are pleasing and mildly humourous although I found the male "hero" rather one-dimensional.
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on 5 June 2014
I love reading a long book with small stories within the main one. Victoria Clayton writes very good English with words of more than 3 syllables. I hope I haven't read them all.
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on 9 September 2014
Her best book, interesting characters, unusual plot. Wish Stormy Weather was published in book form, also that all her books were published as Audio CD's.
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on 4 May 2004
I love Victoria Claytons first three books and I was very much looking forwad to reading this one. However, it turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. It has lots of elements that appear in the other three books, lots of very wacky characters and funny situations but somehow the characters don't seem to come alive, and the story does not sparkle the way the others do.
Still, it is a funny book and worth a read!
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