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Romance Review – Starry Night

Starry Night: A Christmas Novel by Debbie Macomber

Review by Cynthia F. (frazerc)


First off, I love Debbie Macomber’s Christmas novels and re-read many of them seasonally. This one won’t be one of those that I re-read however.  Don’t get me wrong it was a good ‘read-once’ but lacked the ‘ahhh’ element that brings me back again and again.


That said, this is a good read with interesting characters and a relationship-driven plot.  The heroine is Carrie Slayton, a reporter desperate to escape the doldrums of the society pages of her Chicago newspaper.  To this end she approaches her editor who agrees to move her to ‘real’ reporting if she successfully gets an interview with the reclusive author of the hot best-seller ‘Alone’. The hero is said author, Finn Dalton, who wrote the book to inspire others to step out their doors and really see nature, not just pass through it.  He never expected it to be an overwhelming success and he especially never expected to be hounded by reporters, newscasters, and talk show gurus.


Carrie manages to locate Finn’s mother and she actually talks to her rather than slamming the door in her face.  Although they are estranged – and have been since Finn was a child – she does share some clues with her and gives Carrie Finn’s father’s wedding ring to return to Finn. Using the clues Carrie travels to Alaska and using the ring she manages to talk one of Finn’s friends into flying her to his cabin. They arrive in the teeth of a storm so he drops her off and points in the direction of the cabin.


By now she realizes that winter in Chicago had not prepared her for winter in the high north but her options are limited so she trudges off towards the cabin. There’s ice and snow and wind and suddenly a wolf… and Finn who collects her from where she had fallen like she was a dropped blanket and carries her off to his cabin. The wolf turns out to be Finn’s dog and neither of them is very happy to see her.


Finn is a man with issues.  Big ones.  Issues like abandonment and betrayal and trust – especially related to women. The last thing Finn wants is some reporter tracking him down to write an article about him. During the storm-enforced captivity they begin to talk and slowly become if not friends than at least not enemies.  When the storm finally clears he takes her outside and they watch the aurora-streaked brilliance of the starry night and she finally begins to understand the man and why he would want to be in this place and in this time. And why she will leave at least a little part of her heart behind when she leaves.


Carrie has her article but will she print it?  Finn has asked her not to but it’s the chance for the break she’s been looking for. What to do…


Finn is finding being alone synonymous with lonely.  He and Carrie begin a long distance relationship via phones, and emails and posts.  Things are poignant but then he comes for a visit… Pick an emotion and she’s there: deliriously happy, frightened, angry when a friend figures out who he is and suggests he’s just doing it to manipulate her into not publishing the article and calling her a fool for refusing to do so. Complications abound – Finn goes back to Alaska.  She goes home for the holidays. Both of them are miserable. Since this is a Debbie Macomber novel you know it’s going to work out in the end but it takes a painfully long time.





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