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Nights of Rain and Stars
What is it with Anglo-Saxon writers and the Mediterranean? For many of them, from E. Forster to Elizabeth Bowen, from Elizabeth von Arnim to Henry James an honorary Brit and now Irish author Maeve Binchy, the Mediterranean can't be a normal spot where one goes "on holiday," and simply comes back with a tan. Something cataclysmic and life-changing must happen because the folks in Greece or Italy are so much closer to nature, and thus to their emotions. Their job is to teach those pale and buttoned-up folks how to loosen up. Fortunately, many of these tales and authors redeem themselves by being quite good, and Binchy's Nights of Rain and Stars is no exception. The story concerns four tourists who meet in a Greek village, drawn to a taverna by the sight of a pleasure boat burning in the bay.
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In a small town in Greece , a group of people witness a boating accident and subsequently become tangled in each other's lives. Thomas is a California university professor escaping from a tense relationship with his remarried ex-wife and their son, whom he adores. Elsa, the beautiful German blonde, resigned from her successful television job to escape her ex-boyfriend, whom she still loves. Irish Fiona couldn't stand her family and friends' resentful attitudes towards her boyfriend, Shane, so she and Shane escaped to peaceful Greece. David, a kind Englishman, doesn't want to take over his father's business as his family expects him to, and instead decides to travel. These strangers meet in a tavern in peaceful Aghia Anna underneath the stars, and soon they become close friends. Vonni, a native who escaped her family in Ireland many years ago, becomes involved in all their lives and together they form bonds and discover things about each other and themselves that they never could have anticipated.
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One summer. Four strangers. A tragedy that will change their lives… A brilliant novel from the No. In a Greek taverna, high over the small village of Aghia Anna, four people meet for the first time: Fiona, an Irish nurse, Thomas, a Californian academic; Elsa, a German television presenter; and David a shy English boy. Along with Andreas, the old man who runs the taverna, they become close to each other after witnessing a tragedy when a pleasure steamer catches fire in the harbour. With the help of Vonni, a middle-aged Irish woman who lives in the village and is now a near-native, they each find a solution — although not necessarily the one they anticipated…. As with all her writing, it offers old-fashioned pleasures, including a recognisable moral structure where kindness and love can triumph, and mistakes can be rectified.