Customer Reviews


 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully evocative
Linda Gillard's third published novel has two marvellous settings, including a beautifully-created Edinburgh; and a wonderful, spiky, difficult heroine. I wanted to bang her head together with another character's a few times, but that was because I CARED about her! The supporting cast is wonderful and provides some giggles and sweet moments. The added dimension of...
Published on 30 May 2008 by LyzzyBee

versus
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just OK
Of the four Linda Gillard novels I have read so far, I found this the least enjoyable. It was well written, but the story was a little sentimental for me. With the other LG novels I've read, although there has been romance, there has always been another theme running through the book as well - a mystery, a secret, paranormal activity etc. I kept waiting for this story...
Published 24 months ago by Little Bird


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully evocative, 30 May 2008
By 
LyzzyBee (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Star Gazing (Paperback)
Linda Gillard's third published novel has two marvellous settings, including a beautifully-created Edinburgh; and a wonderful, spiky, difficult heroine. I wanted to bang her head together with another character's a few times, but that was because I CARED about her! The supporting cast is wonderful and provides some giggles and sweet moments. The added dimension of describing a character's experiences without using visual imagery gives the book a depth and interest that the casual reader might not expect - wonderfully evocative. An excellent read and highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Edgy and unpredictable - both the heroine and the book, 28 May 2008
By 
This review is from: Star Gazing (Paperback)
By turns funny, heartwrenching and heartstopping, this novel is never less than engrossing. To involve the reader so completely and convincingly in Marianne's story is a terrific achievement. Marianne is a wonderful heroine - and this is coming from a reader who usually wants to slap heroines within five pages. She's spiky, occasionally bad-tempered, endlessly angry for very good reasons, yet she's also resourceful, independent, emotionally mature and vulnerable. She's real. The gorgeous Keir is not more than a match for her - he's just a perfect match, and a perfect fit. As for Louisa and Garth, they're terrific. I loved this book - and I wasn't sure, right to the last chapter, how it would end.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful distraction that encourages you to treasure the gifts you were born with., 29 Sept. 2014
By 
English Rose "Su" (Hereford, West Midlands UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Star Gazing (Paperback)
This is one of my all-time favourite books. For me it is a beautiful distraction. Marianne Fraser is the strong heroine of the story not only is she blind from birth but she is fiercely independent.

Music fills her world and she is a great lover of opera she says it "pours a vision of a wider world into her ears" (taken from chapter 1) she also tells us in the same chapter "music goes directly to her heart, it pierces her soul and stirs her with nameless emotions, countless ideas and aural pictures". Simply beautiful.

One of my most favourite parts is early on in the book when Marianne meets Kier whilst seated in Edingburgh’s Royal Botanic Garden 'listening' to the trees. She tells us in Chapter 2 that she can find her own way to the ‘Botanics’ as she has “memorised her route as a sequence of numbers”.

In chapter 2 Kier asks Marianne if she would like him to describe himself to her. She asks at one point “if the colour of your hair were a smell, what would it be?” at first he says “That’s a tough one. It’s a rich brown. Goes a bit red in the summer.” “Useless. I need smells” Marianne tells him. Then on the second attempt he gets it perfectly right “Walnuts. Walnuts when you crack them open at Christmas”. Isn’t that description so delicious? Linda Gillard has got descriptive writing down to a pure art form.

From this beautiful book I learned how to cherish the gifts I was born with, I take nothing for granted. I purchased and now often listen to some of the music mentioned in the book. I close my eyes and listen to it from Marianne’s viewpoint. I love to walk around my environment and take in everything, especially when strolling through the woods. I inhale my surroundings; I listen to the wind & rain in the trees. Everything is so beautiful, oh and yes like Marianne I have been known to hug a tree or two. (My favourite local trees are the imported Redwoods in Queenswood, Hereford, West Midlands UK. The texture of the bark is amazing, they really invite you to touch them in my mind they are truly caress-able LOL)

A truly beautiful book & my favourite one of all time. One of the few books I read over and over again. Very highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A romantic adventure to feed all your senses., 11 May 2013
This review is from: Star Gazing (Kindle Edition)
So much more than a romantic love story, though it is that as well. Linda Gillard does a fabulous job of conveying the life and experience of a woman blind since birth, not just how she manages in a sighted world, but how she perceives that world. This is done through rich, sensual language, the language of scents, textures, and sounds, particularly music. Despite the fact that the main protagonist has no idea what her surroundings look like, the sense of place is powerfully evoked, the Isle of Skye, the streets of Edinburgh, out on the ocean... The balance of themes is superb - we have adventure, and tragedy, and masses of action, plenty of danger, excitement, and fun too. The hero has to be described to us by a blind person, yet we have a vivid picture of him, and of course described as he is by touch, Gillard is able to convey his sexual attractiveness and his body language. The other characters are striking and individual, for this is also a tale of two sisters, in fact stereotypes are turned on their heads throughout which is something that always attracts me as a reader. This book, ironically, could be a beautifully visual film, with moments of edge-of-the-seat suspense, or a radio play with us looking through the protagonist's 'eyes'. To have a blind heroine is a tour de force, handled with the skilled aplomb of Linda Gillard - avoiding any sentimentality and keeping us rooting for a sometimes difficult, uncompromising woman whose blindness is part of her and not a hook for easy pity.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'd like to award six twinkling stars from Skye., 22 Jan. 2013
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Star Gazing (Kindle Edition)
Blind since birth and widowed in her twenties, Marianne has had more than her fair share of tough times. As a heroine, Marianne is not only immensely unique and likable, but she's a tough cookie too.
By chance, she meets Keir.
A man of Skye, he is every bit the brusque, resourceful Scot. But beneath this almost rude exterior there is something special about Keir; a sixth sense, which manifests itself as a sensitive and tangible medium to Marianne; and who could fail to be moved by a man who wanted to `show' her the stars?
Without sight, we are wholly reliant on the other senses, so as an author, a massive challenge to not only `see' from this perspective, but also to get across the small nuances of a romantic relationship between a blind woman, and a sighted man. Deprived of the conventional tool of vision, even in fiction, we are led so much deeper into the story and the perception of being blind adds a unique dimension. Music and sounds as a medium for description is beautifully portrayed and the Isle of Skye is a perfect, evocative backdrop.
I loved the gentle humour, more often than not provided by the dialogue between Marianne and her sister Louisa, who is a vampire novelist, (not forgetting Louisa's Gothic styled boyfriend!) all made for a good mix of light and dark.
As a love story, this novel clearly demonstrates how powerful 'subtle' and 'insightful' can be. There are not many books that fill me with moments of awe, but this one did, and not only for how much we take eyesight for granted. Some of the prose made me shiver. I could feel this book.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars profoundly thought provoking..., 19 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Star Gazing (Paperback)
I finished reading ‘Star Gazing’ by Lind Gillard this week. Someone recommended it to me as one of ‘the best books ever written’ and not sure about that claim, but I did enjoy it. It was all about the life and loves of a blind woman, particularly apt for me now, as I am having problems with my own eyesight.
My optician can do no more to help me to see any better, but recommends that I take frequent breaks from books and the computer. When I asked how frequent, he thought that after every twenty minutes I should rest my eyes for ten minutes.
As you can imagine, this upset me a great deal as everything I love to do involves wearing my glasses. Refusing to co-operate is not really an option, for if I forget, I get the most awful giddiness and nausea.
So, was reading a book about blindness a good idea?
In a way it was, for far from being a sad book, I was introduced to a very different world, one full of the importance of touching, and noises, smells and emotions. The way someone can describe what the rest of us see, in such a way that a blind person can ‘see’ it too.
For example, ‘ice’ was described as ‘frozen music’.
What made me think was the power our memories have, and how somebody who has no memories can manage to create some, even if they cannot see.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I hope there is another in the pipeline as I loved all of them, 3 April 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Star Gazing (Kindle Edition)
I read all 7 of Linda Gillards books one after another. As soon as I finished one I started the next one, ending with STAR GAZING. I hope there is another in the pipeline as I loved all of them. I love the Fabric art /quilting thread that runs through most of the books. Each book has a totally different plot, they are not like some authors who have an obvious formula with similar situations in each book. Each book has a different "issue" that the characters deal with. She writes of struggles and frailties with understanding and tenderness. I loved the characters in this book even though I had guessed the ending earlier on I had wondered for awhile if I was right or not....so she had me second guessing myself. I have referred several of my friends to her books. I started with HOUSE OF SILENCE, then EMOTIONAL GEOLOGY, THE GLASS GUARDIAN, UNTYING THE KNOT, A LIFETIME BURNING, CAULDSTANE and STAR GAZING. They were all easy reads but the one I had a harder time getting into was A LIFETIME BURNING, but I hung in there and it was worth it. I love them all, well done.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every now and then I am introduced to a story ..., 8 Mar. 2015
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Star Gazing (Paperback)
Every now and then I am introduced to a story that stays with me forever and this is one of those few.

Linda Gillard is a fearless and inspired writer who understands how to make her readers travel through the pages, contentedly learning about the characters she crafts.

I read the last chapter of 'Star Gazing' when I need inspiring and it never fails to make me smile.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She's done it again!, 24 April 2012
By 
Susanne (Surrey, England) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Star Gazing (Kindle Edition)
I've now read all of Linda Gillard's books, Star Gazing being the last one I read. It is yet another beautifully written, poignant book with characters that are so real they spring off the page. In Star Gazing, we meet the independent and stubborn Marianne who has been blind from birth. Yes, I too wanted to shake her sometimes and tell her to recognise what Keir felt for her, but that was part of what made the story so compelling. I loved the other characters too - Louisa, her sister, who at first appears rather shallow, but who turns out to be a woman of great strength and depth, and the wonderfully quirky Garth the Goth, who also turned out to be a person of strength and beauty. The ending was wonderfully tense. What a great book!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life Affirming Story, 11 April 2013
This review is from: Star Gazing (Kindle Edition)
This is a great story about a middle aged blind woman who, whilst still dealing with past tragedies in her life, has to struggle with day to day living. Then along comes Kier who turns her life upside down in more ways than one! A joyful read with plenty of heart stopping moments! It also made me appreciate how difficult it must be for visually impaired people to form a 'picture' of so many different things we take for granted including space, distance, how small or vast things are such as mountains and the sea and even everyday objects such as what a bird looks like. I found this book an amazing visual journey, well worth reading.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 28 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Star Gazing
Star Gazing by Linda Gillard (Paperback - 29 May 2008)
£8.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews