#FridayBookShare – Star Gazing by Linda Gillard

The Friday Book share is taken from Shelley Wilson’s website.

Anyone can have a go – all you need to do is answer the following questions about a book you enjoyed reading (old or new), use the hashtag #FridayBookShare and tag @shelleywilson72.

First line of the book.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb.

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)

Your favourite line/scene.


The book I am sharing today is Star Gazing by Linda Gillard.  If I’m ever asked about my favourite authors, Linda is one of three that I always name.  Her writing is superb and full of emotion and empathy.  It’s almost unheard of for me to reread a book but I have read Star Gazing twice and it’s responsible for me visiting the Isle of Skye on holiday.  It rained all week, unfortunately, but I understand that’s quite usual.

First line of the book (I’ve quoted the first paragraph)

This is not a ghost story. Not really. But it was Christmas and I did feel as if I’d seen a ghost. Or rather heard a ghost. Except that you don’t hear ghosts, do you? Clanking chains, hideous moans perhaps, but on the whole people see ghosts, or so I understand. It’s an experience I’ve been spared.

But I thought I’d heard one.

Recruit fans by adding the book blurb

Blind since birth, widowed in her twenties, now lonely in her forties, Marianne Fraser lives in Edinburgh in elegant, angry anonymity with her sister, Louisa. Marianne’s passionate nature finds solace and expression in music, a love she finds she shares with Keir, a man she encounters on her doorstep one winter’s night.

Keir makes no concession to her condition. He is abrupt to the point of rudeness, yet oddly kind. But can Marianne trust her feelings for this reclusive stranger who wants to take a blind woman to his island home on Skye, to ‘show’ her the stars?…

Introduce the main character using only three words.

Independent, prickly and vulnerable.

Delightful design (add the cover image of the book).

Audience appeal (who would enjoy reading this book?)  Anybody who likes strong characters (especially female ones over 40), wonderful dialogue and descriptions, and storylines with a difference.  Also, if you like books set in Scotland.

Your favourite line/scene.  There are so many fabulous scenes but I really liked this exchange between Keir and Marianne.  Keir speaks first.

‘I’ve got leave. Sick leave as a result of the accident. So I’m going home for a wee while.’

‘And where exactly is home?’

‘Skye.’

‘That’s a long way from here.’

‘Aye. So I was wondering … Would you like to come?’

‘To Skye? You mean come and stay with you?’

‘Aye.’ She makes no reply and he continues, ‘There’d be separate sleeping accommodation – you need have no worries on that score. I’m not importing you for lewd purposes.’

‘Well, you needn’t say it as if that was the last thing on your mind. You make me feel like the antidote to desire.’

He sighs again. ‘I’m sorry, that did sound pretty crass, didn’t it? I thought you might be … concerned.’

‘For my virtue, you mean? What use is virtue to me? Anyway, I’m a widow, if you remember. Not somebody’s maiden aunt.’

‘Now who’s talking about herself as if she’s the antidote to desire?’

‘Oh, I’m scarcely a woman in the eyes of the world. I don’t see, so I don’t shop. I don’t have children. I don’t even have a man. In the eyes of the world, I’m just blind.’

‘In the eyes of the world, maybe. Not mine.’

Looking at passages to choose has made me want to read Star Gazing for a third time.  I’d highly recommend checking it out along with Linda Gillard’s other work (her heroes are well known for being completely swoonworthy!).  I think Star Gazing will always be my favourite of her books as it was the first one I read and I just loved reading about Marianne and Keir.


Linda Gillard lives in Ayrshire, Scotland. She’s the author of eight novels, including STAR GAZING, short-listed in 2009 for Romantic Novel of the Year and the Robin Jenkins Literary Award. Her Kindle bestseller HOUSE OF SILENCE was selected for Amazon UK’s Top Ten “Best of 2011” in the Indie Author category.

If I have whetted your appetite with this #FridayBookShare then you can find out more about Linda and her books on her website and on Facebook.

3 Comments

  • I loved this book too as well as her others.

  • Thanks for this post, Nicola. It made my day! So pleased you enjoyed STAR GAZING. It doesn’t get much attention now but when it was published in 2008 it was shortlisted for 2 awards and won another. I’ve written 8 novels now, but STAR GAZING will always be one of my favourites.

    • You’re very welcome, Linda and I’m glad it’s made your day. I have enjoyed all your books but Star Gazing does have that special place in my heart.

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