5 Stars! December 30, 2013
This review is from: Starry Night: A Christmas Novel (Kindle Edition)
How on earth did an ambitious big city society reporter end up trapped in a hand-hewn log cabin in the Alaskan tundra near the Arctic Circle cooped up with a hostile but manly hunk of a survivalist author? For Carrie Slayton it will either be her life’s greatest reporting triumph or her life’s greatest mistake.
Carrie’s Chicago editor has challenged her to track down Finn Dalton and interview this mysterious author on his wildly best-selling book entitled Alone, his personal account on surviving in the arctic. It seems the whole world and most reporters clamor after the man who does not want to be found, let alone interviewed. Her reward should she succeed? Just about any plum assignment she wants thereafter.
With her talented reporting instincts, she finds and befriends Finn’s estranged mother and obtains clues as to his possible whereabouts. As a peace offering, Finn’s mother gives Carrie her late husband’s engraved wedding ring as an enticement to reconciliation. It seems her mother abandoned her husband and young son years ago because of her extreme unhappiness in the arctic wilderness. He was also betrayed when his fiance’ married another man. No wonder the man distrusts women.
With the reluctant help of one of Finn’s best friends and fellow bush pilots, she is deposited on a frozen lake near Finn’s cabin as a storm sweeps in. The ensuing encounter between the two, including Finn’s wolf-like dog is initially terrifying. The extreme difficulties of total opposites trying to get acquainted while trapped in the confines of a rustic cabin in a blizzard are simply priceless and inviting beyond words.
It is no secret why the author is a best-seller because to sustain such a dialogue for a lengthy period of time between the two principals is a complicated and singular skill which was the finest part of the story for me. Debbie Macomber’s writing is on the one hand uncomplicated and easily read and on the other hand manages to exude waves of emotional feeling. The dialogues between hero and heroine are intermingled with their private thoughts in just the right proportions.
Although the story takes place just before Thanksgiving and concludes with Christmas, it is more romance than Christmas. The only personality that totally annoyed me was Carrie’s so-called best friend Sophie as she constantly pried into every corner of Carrie’s private life.
The story struck home emotionally on more than one level because I myself lived for a year in Alaska back in 1969 and the author’s depictions of the grandness and stark beauty of the interior regions evoked strong nostalgic feelings. Read the book and be transported into a winter wilderness romance that will grab your heart.