Nights of Rain and Stars Review
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This book takes you to Aghia Anna, a small village in Greece overlooking a harbor. Four travelers from around the globe meet by chance at a taverna perched high atop the village. Each one is running away from something or someone back home.

Andreas, the friendly old man who owns the taverna, enjoys extending his hospitality to the tourists, but regrets the loss of his son since he moved to the United States. In this ideal Mediterranean setting, they witness a horrible accident. The experience creates a bond of friendship among them.

Thomas, the American, is tortured by thoughts that he is an inadequate father being replaced by his sonís stepfather.

Elsa, the tall and beautiful television anchorwoman left her successful TV career in Germany to get away from the man she loves.

  
 
David is taking a breather from the suffocating pressure to run his fatherís business in England and generally live up to the tidy expectations of his parents.

Fionna, the nurse from Ireland is traveling abroad with her boyfriend Shane, to escape her parentís disapproval of him. This trip will test Fionnaís patience with the moody Shane.

They all become fascinated by Vonni, an Irishwoman, who moved to the village decades ago. She is a complex woman with a turbulent past who spends her time helping others and dispensing advice. Vonni acts as a catalyst for each character to set things right in their lives.

Over grape leaves, moussaka, and local wines, they talk, laugh, fall in love, fall out of love, and make some startling observations about each other. They work through those burning questions they came to Aghia Anna with. The plot threads belonging to each character were tied up in the end in satisfying ways, but not in the obvious ways.

The dialogue flows easily, making this novel a treat to read. I feel like Iíve been on a vacation to Greece, without the suntan. I enjoyed peering into the souls of these people and felt reluctant to say goodbye when the book ended. Happily, there are five other books by Maeve Binchy.

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