Friday, 13 November 2015

Review: Star Dust by Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner

4 stars

I kid you not, when I first read the blurb for Star Dust by Emma Barry and Genevieve Turner, I actually choked on my own tongue, and that's not a metaphor. From this, we can deduce two things:

1. I owe a lot to modern society because I'd probably be dead if natural selection was still a thing.

Set in 1962, Star Dust the story of two neighbours: Anne-Marie Smith, a divorcee with two young children, and Kit Campbell, famous astronaut and ladies' man. Anne-Marie's just left her philandering husband despite widespread censure, and the last thing she wants - or needs - is to get involved with another man cut from the same cloth. Kit would like to see more of the woman next door, but he's not really one for kids or commitment, and he needs to be focusing on one thing: reaching the stars.

The 1960s conjure up images of Woodstock and Vietnam War protests, but Star Dust reinforces that mainstream society was still extremely conservative, and, for women, repressive. When Anne-Marie discovered that her husband had never been faithful to her, people told her 'these things happen'. When she decided to leave, people implied she'd never make it on her own. And now that she has, men proposition her and women gossip behind her back. To complete the realistic 1960s vibe, there's widespread smoking, conversations about Doris Day and the ominous shadow of the Cold War and 'the Reds' underlying everything.

Although I wasn't particularly a fan of their early interactions, as the book continued I became more invested in Kit and Anne-Marie's relationship. I would have liked this to be more drawn out towards the end of the novel, as things got serious; everything got tied up quite quickly and it left me with the impression that their proclamations of commitment to each other were a tad premature.

I really appreciated Anne-Marie's children were integral to her and Kit's relationship. Often, I find storylines where the hero or heroine has children to be problematic. Sometimes, it seems like the author has never actually met a child of the age that they are writing about, and then there's the 'why, yes, I'm a single parent, but you'd never know it the way my children rarely make an appearance and totally disappear for sexytimes'. Seeing Kit go from warily maintaining he knows nothing about children to taking the kids fishing and helping them with their homework was one of by absolute favourite parts of the book.

Unfortunately, thanks to a misspent youth of middle-of-the-day television re-runs, I couldn't help but picture Kit as Major Nelson from I Dream of Jeannie, which I really could have done without. But since I have had to suffer through that, I've included a picture of Major Nelson in his NASA suit so that you will be forced to do the same.

But joking aside, Star Dust made a fantastic change of pace from more historical historicals, and I hope that it blazes a trail for more 1960s and 70s romances, because I think that there's a lot of untapped potential there.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...