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Oh My Stars

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3.88  ·  Rating Details ·  4,937 Ratings  ·  498 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
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Hardcover, 400 pages
Published April 19th 2005 by Random House Publishing Group (first published January 1st 2005)
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Angela
Jul 30, 2007 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.
Kyli
Apr 10, 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
Peggy
Nov 23, 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.
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Kate
Oct 14, 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
Suzy
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
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Arminzerella
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Diane
Nov 29, 2007 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
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Amy
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
Liisa
Apr 15, 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!
Michelle
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.
Vicki
Apr 28, 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
Haley Perry
Feb 27, 2017 Haley Perry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love love loved this book! So deep with such a strong message. Plus, what a STORY?! I I loved every.single.second.
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
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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
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Mary
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
Brenda
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
Victoria
Sep 02, 2016 Victoria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first Lorna Landvik novel I discovered was Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons; I think there is only one left that I haven't read. Each has been satisfying, and Oh My Stars certainly followed form. This book is about emotion, the opposite of stoicism. One of the primary characters is described as I would describe this pre-WWII, Midwestern novel: "Austin wasn't the type of man who prided himself on stoicism; he had long ago learned that it was easier to feel what he felt, and what he felt now w ...more
Melissa
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
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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!
Bev
Jul 28, 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.
Janice
Apr 26, 2009 Janice rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an unexpected gem of a book for me.
Betsystallworth
a nice read - not too heavy.
Tory
Nov 21, 2016 Tory rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I would have given the first 2/3 a 3 star - it was fun and interesting. But at the end, everyone needed to be paired up with another, and the burning bright star in the middle had to die, and the lead needed to be an extremely successful fashion designer and her daughter was up for governor of NY.
In romances it is similar. I'm just happy if I can have a positive impact on each day. But I don't need to be the most successful, richest, smartest, person on the planet. And most of us won't be.
Amy
Dec 14, 2016 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Would love to give this book 4.75 stars. It wasn't a masterpiece, but--oh my stars--it was good. It resonated with every fiber of my being.

Would that I could mail a copy of this to my seventeen year old self, who stood on the railing of more than one bridge seeing solace in the roiling waters below.
Mary Jo
Dec 04, 2016 Mary Jo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this novel and it's heroin. The author seemed to have a fantastic grasp on her and the story had so many twists and turns. So adeptly shows the horrors of being black in America even if you are "famous."
Janice Salotti
Mar 13, 2017 Janice Salotti rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot say enough good about this luminous novel. Lorna Landvik uses the setting of a diner to openeach chapter and the reader is invited in to sit and share some time. Using the first person voice, whom we discover is Violet, we are first drawn in by her voice setting the scene then read her story of hardship, betrayal, romance, love, acceptance and success.
Sitting in the diner Violet begins speaking to the reader as to a new friend telling the story of her life and what a life it is. At tur
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Mary Rank
Mar 16, 2017 Mary Rank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Landvik isn't a complicated writer, but her stories always tug at my heartstrings. Her story in this novel takes place during the Depression. Four young adults are in a travelling band and they each have a physical presence that sets them apart, for good or bad. The book is about acceptance and perseverance.
Frances Levy
This is one of those books I picked up at random from the library's collection of books on CD. From the synopsis, I thought it might be a good read.

In that, I was not disappointed. I found the plot and all the characters totally believable and beautifully drawn. Violet is a psychologically and physically damaged teenager in Kentucky during the Depression who decides that the world will be better off without her. Fate, however, has other plans for her.

Except for the bitchy daughter, Barrett, the
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Rachael Uponen
Jul 01, 2016 Rachael Uponen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I mentioned in my review of "Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons" that it was my second-favorite Lorna Landvik book. Well, this one is my favorite.

"Oh My Stars" tells a very different story from "Angry Housewives." It's a story within a story, told from the point of view of an old woman talking to an unnamed individual at a diner. The woman is Violet Mathers.

Violet grows up during the 1920s and 30s, a tall, thin girl who is abused by her father and bullied by her classmates. Her life begins to look
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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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