13 Sep 2010

"The Stars In the Bright Sky" - The adventures of the bright and the dim

During my teenage years my absolute favourite book was "The Sopranos" by Alan Warner. It was an epiphany when I first read it b
because the language, the topics, the girls it described was so incredibly different from the books I normally read. These Catholic girls from Our Lady of Perpetual Succour were the original ladettes, forever in pursuit of mischief and a good time. When I found out that Warner had written a sequel, I had to have it. And this morning I turned the last pages of "The Stars in the Bright Sky" on the bus to work. It was amazing - I am already looking forward to reading it again, as it is such a fascinating tale. The girls are the same Scottish wildcats as in "The Sopranos" - only they have matured and have grown ever so slightly apart. Finn has moved to London to study philosophy, Manda has become a single mother who drinks too many Guiness Extra Colds, Kylah and Chell are still living in the town and Kay is studying architecture. Their lives have taken different turns but now they are meeting up in Gatwick Airport to go on vacation together - a last minute deal, possibly to Magaluf, definitely not to Turkey. With them is posh, English Ava - Finn's friend from uni. Altogether a dangerous cocktail.
However, things do not go according to plan. A disappearing passport, much too much luggage, too many drinks all play a big part in these few days that the girls spend holidaying in the airport. I won't go into details about the plot, as I don't want to give away anything.
One of the aspects of the book that I really like - or am fascinated by - is the "drinks lists" that Warner uses to describe the girls. He lists what the girls drink and the drinks are obvious pointers as to who they are. So Manda is constantly drinking her Guiness Extra Cold - though at one point mixing it with champagne - while Kay mostly drinks red wine. For some reason this appeals to be - possibly because the drinks are so predictable and and in their predictability confirms how well I know these girls.
But if you haven't read "The Sopranos" and met these wonderful Scottish lassises then get both "The Sopranos" and "The Stars in the Bright Sky" and settle down for an amazing ride with a bunch of ladies and ladettes who at times act quite dum but always shine brightly.


  1. You're welcome. It is good fun, it is a really great book!

  2. Hi Willa, many thanks for stopping by Pen and Paper. Nice to have met you, I've enjoyed visiting and reading your view on books.