Nights of Rain and Stars (by Maeve Binchy)

'Nights of Rain and Stars' is a moving character-based book by Maeve Binchy, which I was delighted to find second-hand, although I would probably have bought it for full price sooner or later. It's set in a small town in Greece, the book opening with a tragedy which draws together four disparate foreign tourists and several locals.

Gradually these people get to know each other, and I felt as if I did too.. as the learned to care for each other, I found myself caring what happened to each of them. Their past histories slowly unfold, each of them seeing more clearly the problems that the others have, and seeing answers to other people's dilemmas more easily than their own. A good reflection of life in general, albeit a little sanitised.

Living in Cyprus, I found the descriptions and habits of the Greek people very believable, which added to my enjoyment and made it a good setting for this book. People are basically similar the world over, and become closer under pressure; the book looks at relationships, particularly that of parents and grown-up children, and was sometimes quite moving.

Well written with an encouraging ending. Highly recommended.

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