- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Headline Review (11 Nov. 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0755370309
- ISBN-13: 978-0755370306
- Product Dimensions: 15.9 x 24 x 3.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,616,425 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
To Touch the Stars Hardcover – 11 Nov 2010
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"The sort of book you want never to end. Intriguing, atmospheric and utterly mesmerising." Penny Vincenzi, author, "No Angel""
"Ruston manages a huge cast of characters and a very intricate set of relationships with great economy and aplomb and if you're like me and love details of dress, hats, jewels and so forth, then you ll revel in it." Adele Geras, author, "Troy"" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Perfect for every woman who loves the family drama of a Penny Vincenzi novel and the glamorous settings of Tasmina Perry...See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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I adored the way this book was written. Ruston has chosen to write in both the present day, the events after the birthday party and how this impacts on her family, but also back to Violet's childhood, the coming about of Cavalley's the company and basically everything in Violet's past. The book flits seamlessly between the two, often not defining clearly that is slipping from the present to the past, but as a reader I found it very easy to follow and it was immediately obvious which time which time any particular part of the story was dedicated to. I think the lack of distinction actually works in this book's favour because it is so necessary to have both alongside each other to understand both Violet and the story, and I was soon consumed by the immensely interesting tale of Violet and her childhood.
Violet was a fabulous character, and the perfect person to have as the leading character for the book. Whilst I enjoyed the mystery story of the modern day, and finding what was going to with the Cavalley's and their dark secrets, I actually enjoyed reading about Violet's past, her childhood and the making of Cavalley's far more. Ruston has completely encompassed all that was hard for Violet as a child, from violent and uncaring parents, to becoming a young single mother of 2 in a short period of time, and struggling to come to terms with the losses in her life. It all felt very real as I read it, and I felt myself being drawn into Violet's world and it was fascinating. Also, I have to mention the hats element of the book too - I'm not a huge hat fan and know nothing about them, yet Ruston makes it extremely interesting and readable, and I loved imagining Violet's designs in my mind.
The other characters are well written too, and I liked how they consistently popped up throughout the book. Violet's children, all rather weirdly name as they are, all have their own role in the book, and in particular I liked how Ruston dealt with Blue as a character and all of his eccentricities. Frangipani was another well written character, I felt very sorry for her as she was desperate to find out her own parentage, and this was a good sub-story from the main plot as I was really interested in it. Overall though, I really enjoyed Jessica Ruston's second novel, and was completely consumed by the world of Violet and the Cavalley's for every page that I read, and I felt sad when it ended as I really felt I got to know Violet very well. Ruston creates a complete world of lavish luxury for the Cavalley's yet the secrets behind them were unguessable and I was shocked as they were revealed. It was a brilliant book, and I definitely recommend it, I loved every page.
Jumping backwards and forwards from past to present and vice versa, it's mostly the story of Violet, who has just reached her 60th birthday. The book flits back into various periods in her life and also into those of her sons and daughters. Some of these interwoven threads are interesting, more so I thought than the present day story.
But ultimately I felt it fell a bit flat. The characters were a little bit lifeless, I never really warmed to any of them. I know I seem to be in a minority, other reviewers loved this book, but we're all different, for me it was just average.
The story is basically a confession from the main character Violet to her family, about her past life and all the struggles that were intertwined within it. Almost everything is covered in this exciting, intriguing novel and it was so hard to put down. I can honestly say i did not expect this book to be as good as it was, and it completely out done my expectations. The twisted, emotional rollercoaster of a novel is brilliantly told, and the strong independance of the lead character is inspiring to read, the reader can feel a great amount of sympathy with Violet and this just adds more to the novel. Twists throughout the novel keep it exciting and fresh, i did not once get bored of the plot and the continuous switch in time frames is brilliant, weaving the past into the present and keeping the reader guessing all the way till the end.
If you're looking for a book that includes romance, tragedy and of course - fashion (i have a real love for fashion, but even those who know next to nothing about it, dont worry the book will still be as good, the novel is more centered on family and everyone knows about that)! Then please pick up a copy and at least give it a try. It's completely worth a read. A totally girly, lovely novel that left me thinking about it long after id finished reading it. Cant wait to read more books of this type, goodbye to the Bronte sisters (for now) :)
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