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Oh My Stars

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  4,519 Ratings  ·  469 Reviews
I am convinced that at birth the cake is already baked. Nurture is the nuts or frosting, but if you’re a spice cake, you’re a spice cake, and nothing is going to change you into an angel food.

Tall, slender Violet Mathers is growing up in the Great Depression, which could just as well define her state of mind. Abandoned by her mother as a child, mistreated by her father, an
Audio CD, Abridged, 0 pages
Published April 19th 2005 by Random House Audio (first published January 1st 2005)
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May 24, 2012 Angela rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a lovely surprise. I thought Lorna Landvik wrote thin romances, but this story is far from thin. The great depression, the beginnings of rock and roll music, a look at race relations in the twentieth century, sewing skills, all get mixed into this story about family and love and growth. It's absolutely charming.
Apr 11, 2009 Kyli rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm giving this book a 3 because the characters were complex, colorful, and memorable, and some of the writing really painted a picture for me. Lorna did a good job of making some of the scenes really come alive. The whole concept of a lost soul being saved by complete strangers really captivated me too. I just read some other peoples reviews and noticed that some of you felt the characters were unrealistic. I didn't feel that way at all. Violet Mathers may be a bit unusual, but certainly not un ...more
Nov 29, 2010 Peggy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Violet is a one armed, tall, skinny girl who thinks she is ugly. Since she lost her arm in a factory accident, she decides to withdraw her savings from the bank and take a buss trip cross coutry. She plans to jump off the Golden Gate bridge when she gets to California, but a bus wreck changes her plans.

After being taken in by a North Dakota family, she begins to see possibilites. She takes off with the farmer's son and a fellow black passenger. The men start a band, Violet becomes their manager.
Oct 17, 2012 Kate rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The phrase oh my stars makes me roll my eyes. The sappiness should make me roll my eyes. The way everything falls together for the remaining characters at the end--eye-rolling material, but... oh my god. It must have hit at the right moment because I loved this book. I doubt I'll reread it because there's a chance I'll miss the loveliness next time. It's like a night in a bar. Sometimes those nights are cheap and you can see all the clap-trap and drunkiness. Other nights, it's better than a gard ...more
Jun 05, 2007 Suzy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suzysshelf
Oh My Stars takes place during the Great Depression of the 1930's. It is a coming of age story about Violet Mathers who believes she is flawed both physically and otherwise.

She becomes part of a band that is spreading a new kind of music.

It was a little slow in parts but you become very attached to the characters and especially Violet, who you want to see succeed.
Christine Boyer
Jun 10, 2013 Christine Boyer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one.
Oh my stars, where do I begin? Ms. Landvik - I read your "Housewives eating Bon Bons" book years ago and liked it. What happened?

One of my first impressions was what I saw some other Goodreads readers write: "it seemed unbelievable", "not real". I concur! Though the first few chapters were fairly good with documenting her tough childhood and bad feelings about herself it went sour from there. I always go back to the 3 elements of a story: setting, plot, character. Part of the "not real" feeling
I've read other Lorna Landvik books but this is the first I've read that I didn't like. The setting of the book is supposed to be the 1930's but it's written as if it's 1950's. That drove me crazy. Not an enjoyable read to say the least.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 10, 2008 Diane rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
An unusual coming-of-age and on-the-road novel set in the Depression. The characters are a bit trite but the story is fun. As is so often the case for me, the story goes on a bit too long - after the story shifts from on-the-road to and-they-lived-happily-ever-after, I lost interest and the plot became a bit saccharine. Just stop reading at the end of Chapter 26 and it is a better book (I dare you to do this).

I particularly enjoyed the book because one of my daughers who is not a reader sent i
Jul 26, 2011 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh my goodness, did I enjoy this book! I liked that music, artistry, and self-expression were the common languages for the unlikely "family" in this story. I liked that the historical backdrop punctuated the trials and tribulations of race, disabilities, and living in such a narrow-minded time. But for me, in the end it was really about the characters-- so real, so flawed, yet so likable. It tugged at my heartstrings so that I cried for their tragedies and cheered for their triumphs. What a love ...more
Nov 03, 2008 Liisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Liisa by: My friend Lauri
It was on my second attempt at "Oh My Stars" by Lorna Landvik that I really got into the story and found myself capitvated.

It tells the story of Violet Mathers as she grows up in the Great Depression ~ normally not a book I would flock to! However the characters are charming and keep your attention piqued as you turn the pages.

I fell in love with this story and quickly added other books by Lorna Landvik to my reading shelf!
Apr 25, 2013 Michelle rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ok - I only read this because it was being passed around by friends. I thought, "get it read and get it back", thinking it would be a predictable romance story set in the late 1930's. Boy was I wrong.The story and main character grabbed me and it was hard to put down. Partially told as a rememberence and the rest as real time, it pulls you forward without giving up the surprises you will encounter. I cried at a few spots and hated to say goodbye.
Oct 17, 2014 Brenda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-books
Violet Mathers is a sad young girl whose mother left when she was five, her father never loved her and mistreated her, and she had no friends growing up. She loses her left arm in a factory accident on on 17th birthday and feels like she has had enough with life. Heading off to San Francisco to jump off the golden gate bridge she finds her life changed when she is stranded in North Dakota. Meeting Austin Sykes, the blackest man she has ever seen and Kjel Hedstrom, a handsome charismatic young ma ...more
Joy H.
Added 1/21/10.
3/17/15 - I enjoyed this book by Lorna Landvik, entitled Oh My Stars. I'm so glad that Nina recommended Landvik's books back in January 2010 at my GR group. It certainly took me a long time to get around to reading Lorna Landvik's story. She has a refreshing writing style, filled with droll humor and touching characters. I didn't want the book to end! The character of Violet is so well-drawn. I truly enjoyed getting to know Violet and the interesting cast of characters in the story
Oct 19, 2008 Mary rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Mary by: My friend Megan
One of my favorite books, I loved it, loved it, loved it. Maybe I just haven't read enough books, but I feel I read a good many and I enjoyed this one a lot. I am tired to reading the same thing again and again, tired of knowing what the ending is before it happens. Usually I already know how it ends before it even hits the climax, but in this book I was utterly shocked and surprised. Her devotion to Kjel was something I hated, becauce I didn't like him to much, but I didn't like Austin very mu ...more
Jul 18, 2011 Vicki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Trust me, this is a compelling story about Depression Era America that will catch your attention quickly and will not let you go! A fictional memoir, this is Violet Mather's story, told by herself, with no attempt at sugar coating. Violet's memories of childhood are heartrendingly sad and her teen years don't get any better, but Violet, as channeled through the folksy story-telling voice of author Lorna Landvik, injects humor and pathos that charms the reader, promising from the very beginning t ...more
Kathleen Hagen
Oh My Stars, by Lorna Landvik, Borrowed from the Library Services for the Blind. Also produced by Books on Tape and narrated by Cassandra Campbell.

Violet had a bleak existence for the first 16 years of her life. Her mother abandoned her and her father when Violet was quite small, and her father paid absolutely no attention to her except to say cruel things. Violet was tall, had a strong face, and was told by her mother and other kids that she was ugly. When she was 16, her father insisted she ge
Aug 17, 2009 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This is another book that I picked because it was Landvik. This was once of my least favorites. The book is narrated by Violet, a girl with a horrible childhood. She loses an arm in an accident, her mother leaves her, and her father doesn't love her. She decides to go to San Francisco to kill herself, but the bus has an accident that derails her plans.

This is when the book turns south for me. Violet meets up with a band and decides to travel with them. And I find the subsequent 200 pages to be
Aug 07, 2015 Bev rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I loved The Tall Pine Polka by Lorna Landvik; however Oh My Stars didn't grab my interest the same way. Unfortunate.
May 28, 2015 Barbara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh My Stars was a book that took me into a different time period in the Midwest. I never imagined people roaming from town to town to perform music, camping wherever they happened to stop, encountering prejudice and racism until the music started. It seemed like music could take away many of the hatreds--at least until the light of day.
Violet was so damaged as a child, that I often wondered if she would ever heal. She was so smart but a runaway mother and a cruel father did a lot of damage. She
Nov 09, 2014 Kay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is one of my favorite novels. It is a rare book for me because I have actually reread it! It's a story about Violet, growing up during the Depression. Violet's mom abandons her and her father beats her; at 16 she loses half her arm in a factory accident. Then the story blooms into a story of hope, traveling with a band, being the band manager. It is a wondrous journey as Violet might say.
I love the premise of the book that you are sitting down in a small town diner with this old woman
Hannah  Messler
Oct 31, 2008 Hannah Messler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was sweet! A little more contrived than Elizabeth Berg at her best, but no less than her at her not-best. Which is a big ol' pile of sweetness & light, Berg's not-best, so yeah. Five stars for Miss Landvik! Oh my!
Oct 13, 2014 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the second time I've read this book. After a friend mentioned how much she loved it, I have to admit I didn't remember having read it. However, once I borrowed from the library and started reading, I became engaged right away and while it seemed familiar, I didn't recall how things progressed and enjoyed the story a second time. This is not a phenomenal book - it is a good story, told simply and lovingly. The characters are not complicated, but the relationships within the book can be co ...more
Apr 10, 2016 Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I listened to this one and it was delightful. In the 50's a young Violet leaves her abusive father to make her own way as an artist and seamstress. After a violent accident takes her arm, she is left despondent, accepting that her life will be devoid of love or joy. After time she finds herself acting as the manager for an unlikely group of musicians, two of whom are black. Together they experience society at it's best and ugliest during times of serious racial tension. Violet also discovers wha ...more
Dec 24, 2015 DJ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another accidental find through Kindle Unlimited or BookBub

I loved this book. I ignored holiday chores to read it, which I've paid for dearly.

A compelling story that is well written, and each chapter leaves you hoping you have time to read the next.

Even the unlikable character who shows up later in the book is understandable.

For me, this is a story of a combination of determination and being in the right place at the right time, intense joy and extreme sadness. I loved the language (and the corr
Bridget Bailey
Mar 30, 2015 Bridget Bailey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is my second book by this author and I truly enjoy this author's style of writing. Her style of writing keeps you coming back for more. It shows you what people went through in that time regarding racism. It's hard to read at times but a good book and while I wasn't alive then, I think she did a great job of staying true what was going on during that time. It is really nice to see the main character go from the lowest point in her life and watch it get turned around. The author does this in ...more
Jan 16, 2015 Jay rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, 2015
Oh, My Stars” is such a life affirming book, showing what an amazing life can grow even out of despair, blood, and neglect. It shows how one person can fill the lives of so many people with a radiance just by letting his or her glow radiate (instead of hiding it under a bushel basket). Other themes: fighting societal rejection, early music history, and small town life. The characters are a little unreal – a little too much stereotype and a little too little actual flesh – but it fits the story v ...more
Jean Haberman
Jun 13, 2015 Jean Haberman rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
There were good moments, however, way too many moments! There was no excitement and it went on and on and finally ended. I grew to like Violet, a girl who grew up with a father who ignored and insulted her and a mother who deserted her. She lost her arm in a sewing factory accident and was determined to commit suicide. However, was saved by two musicians, one white and one black.

One unique thing was that Landvik started each chapter as if she was talking to the reader in the present, asking the
Dec 26, 2012 Janice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an unexpected gem of a book for me.
Feb 16, 2016 Cynthia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I had high expectations for this book since I thoroughly enjoyed another book by this author, Angry Housewives Eating Bob-Bons.....The author came through except I had some trouble following passages that were meant to be reflections or flashbacks, but overall the story had me laughing, crying, and shouting with joy and triumph! The main character and heroine, Violet going through some painstaking life lessons about love, betrayal, bigotry, kindness, acceptance, and victory, shows us how we can ...more
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General Discussion 7 9 Oct 12, 2014 12:03PM  
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Lorna Landvik is a mother of two and wife of one. She is the author of eight novels, including the best-selling ANGRY HOUSEWIVES EATING BON BONS, PATTY JANE'S HOUSE OF CURL and OH MY STARS. Also an
actor and playwright, Lorna has appeared in many stage productions. She is a new and passionate neophyte to the practice of yoga, which is a fine antidote to her long established practice of lounging.
More about Lorna Landvik...

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“I am the salt of the earth, and I do not believe in the ninety percent rigmarole that is organized religion. But miracles? Miracles, my friend are a different thing entirely. From what I can see, miracles are built from love, and as far as love is concerned, I am a true believer.” 2 likes
“I fear the democratization of plastic surgery, when it's so cheap that everyone - the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker - goes under the knife and winds up looking like these tightly pulled, slightly surprised-looking society and celebrity aliens from Planet Botox. . . . When I was young, I could have bottled up my self-loathing and filled a mile of train cars with it. Now that I'm old, I can't think of anyone I'd rather be than me. . . . That's what we need now: surgeons who can slice away the self-consciousness, the fear, the loneliness, and inject a little hope instead. A little love. Or a doctor who implants only high spirits, penchants for practical jokes, or the ability to cha-cha even to a dirge beat.” 2 likes
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