"In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair...the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes will nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die. ~ Dorothy Sayers"
I sat here for quite some time, wondering how I can put into words what Billy Coffey's newest novel, There Will Be Stars is, without giving it away. I'm probably sure of one thing, after I write this review and publish it, think on it some more, will probably wish I had written something else. I always do when it comes to Billy's novels and that my friend, is what makes his novels so unique! I guess, I'm still wondering what genre it might fit into, because for some it will be one thing, and for others something else. I think people will all take something very different away from this novel, and that is what makes Billy Coffey's writing style so unique and almost ethereal in a sense. It takes you someplace, you're not sure you want to go, kinda of like hearing that strange noise at night, and you don't really want to know what it is, but you have to see for yourself if it is something or simply nothing at all.
There Will Be Stars in a novel from the Mattingly Series of novels Billy began writing about and as he places a disclosure at the beginning, these can be read in any order, but this one takes place a few years after In the Heart of the Dark Wood. I love to read them in the order he has written them, and then I make in fact go back and read them in a different order. This is the story not only of Bobby Barnes, the main character in this novel but those who he is interconnected with. Not only those who play a role in this novel, but those who he speaks with in getting from the beginning to the end of this story.
Bobby Barnes is the town's drunk. He runs a automotive repair shop in the small town of Mattingly, Virginia, one in which everyone knows your business, often without your permission, because it is that small and everyone is connected in some unique way that can only be explained by the mind of the writer of the novel. People have been saying for some time, that Bobby will one day drink himself to death, either by consuming so much or by getting behind the wheel. Bobby might have a different opinion on that one. He works better when he has had a few even though he rarely gets much done. Perhaps he drinks to forget, perhaps he drinks simply because that is all he has known, and to do something different, might just throw him for a spin he isn't willing to take. Whatever the issue, this is the story of how Bobby defines those very moments in something I have a hard time describing. All I know is that you have to experience it to understand it and that my friend, is why you need to read this novel.
I received There Will Be Stars by Billy Coffey compliments of Thomas Nelson Publishers for my honest review and I did not receive any monetary compensation aside from a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest and personal opinion. How to describe what this novel is about is like mixing Groundhog Day with the Twilight Zone. There are six people who are about to find out what heaven or hell is like based on their own perceptions of where they are in life and how they see the events that are coming to them all. In fact, all I know is that Billy Coffey can spin a tale that will have you second guessing yourself all the way to the very end and make you want to reread it to see if you might have missed something along the way. For me, this is a definite sign of a truly talented writer, and for me, this one rates up there with something Stephen King might have written! Well worth again another 5 out of 5 stars! Keep em coming Billy Coffey, keep em coming! A reader's discussion guide is included at the conclusion and would make for one great novel for book clubs to take a poke at!
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Mattingly Series Novels by Billy Coffey
When Mockingbirds Sing
The Devil Walks in Mattingly
In the Heart of the Dark Wood
The Curse of Crow Hollow
There Will Be Stars