There Will Be Stars by Billy Coffey (book review)

July 18, 2016 | By | Reply More

‘There Will Be Stars’ is a part of a series of books by Billy Coffey, resident of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It proved to be an unexpected treat with sympathetic characters, heart-breaking moments and a nice warm feeling inside at the end.


For Bobby, every day is the day he dies. He wakes up, gets drunk before breakfast, plays with his twin sons and drives at night into the mountain to his death. Every morning, until he feels that ‘French thing’, déjà vu, a heaviness that makes him realise he has done it all before. It’s then he meets the other residents of Mattingley in the United States, who are all on the Turn and finds out that he is very likely in Heaven.

Written from a position of faith, this book is still accessible who don’t believe in the great rabbit in the sky. It’s a story about people, an eclectic group who all flock to ‘Ma’ Dorothea Cash, in life a bitter twisted woman who has now become their unlikely pack mother.

The group that Bobby Barnes finds himself increasingly part of includes Billy abandoned by his real mum; Junior Hewitt, a dangerous thug and a few sandwiches short of his picnic; Juliet, the preacher with no flock and the sweet Lara Beth who hides her pain behind her sunshades. Every day, they take their place in the town where all the other people continue to live their lives, except every day is the same day and every day the same people die.

It seems like it is only Bobby who can’t bring himself to believe that this is it. For if this is Heaven it sure makes Hell seem an attractive proposition.

‘There Will Be Stars’ takes an idea that is occasionally over-used and puts a grim and meticulous twist on both events and people. You might not be satisfied by the end but the story itself is a great yarn, knitting up the characters and plot to satisfying effect. I really liked how the group of individuals were put together and the gradual reveal of the circumstances of their deaths. There were at the end, I thought, some untied threads, some mysteries not revealed but, overall, I enjoyed the story and thought it was a worthwhile read.

‘There Will Be Stars’ is part of a series of novels set in the same geographical and philosophical area and I would be interested to read others.

Sue Davies

July 2016

(pub: Thomas Nelson. 416 page paperback. Price: £12.09 (UK). ISBN: 978-0-71802-682-0)

check out website: www.thomasnelson.com/

Category: Books, Fantasy

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