Imagine my surprise when I got to the end of the audio book and my thoughts were..."well that was ok, I guess."
'When the Stars Fall' is only my second book by this author but when I saw it available on audio I decided that it was time for my second Brandon Witt audio book. Unfortunately while this one was ok for me it just didn't hit the high notes the way that 'The Imperfection of Swans' did.
At times I tend to be a less is more type of person and with this one less Shannon would have for a more enjoyable story for me and having said that I need to explain I'm asking for a very fine line to be walked here. You see Shannon is Travis's wife or she was until she lost her battle with cancer and Travis loved her. He truly did and I got that...over and over and over...and that's cool. I have to admit I can only hope that my hubby loves me that much. Plus Travis was left to raise their 3 kids so yeah, he's grieving and he's got 3 little daily reminders of the woman he's buried. I don't want him to forget her or to even stop loving her but I needed to feel like he had room in his heart for Wesley...at some point Shannon I needed to feel that Shannon would go from being 'the ghost in the room...the constant reminder of what was and what would never be' to a much loved memory and that Wesley was now Travis's present and the promise of a new future and for me things just didn't quite get there. For me this is a very subjective opinion I know of lot of people who read this story got that connection and the author was able to take them from Travis and Shannon to Travis and Wesley...I just wasn't in that group.
I think the whole issue of moving on after the loss of a partner is a really challenging subject and it's simply a matter of whether or not a reader makes the connection or not and this time around for me it turned out to be a case of 'not so much'.
One of the other things that turned out not to go so well for me was that quite often Travis seemed to find his solution to dealing with emotional issues at the bottom or a bottle...pretty sure this should be viewed as a warning sign.
Now the last thing and this isn't a niggle more a case of the author 'nailed it'...small town setting...sure there are some positives about a small town but the part of small town life that the author nailed is the fact that more often than not people who live in small towns need to spend more time developing their hobbies and less time peeking in their neighbors bedroom windows. In summary 'If you can't remember what you did yesterday...just ask your neighbor.' ... this and the number of small minds in said small town...homophobia is alive and well in many a small town around the world...not all of them but still more than any of us would like I'm sure.
This isn't my first time listening to an audio book narrated by Andrew McFerrin and as with previous stories Mr. McFerrin has given depth, life and emotion to the characters and the story in general. This one had quite the cast of characters and I have to admit Mr. McFerrin was presented with what I imagine to be a considerable challenge when it came to providing voices for everyone in this story and at the end of it all 'I'd say challenge accepted and met.'
'Then the Stars Fall' turned out to to be just an ok read for me but in spite of this I can still see a story that's filled with a quiet intensity and passion that could easily draw the reader in and wrap itself around their heart and who knows maybe another time it'll do that for me...this just wasn't that time.