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Oh My Stars

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  6,058 ratings  ·  569 reviews
I am convinced that at birth the cake is already baked. Nurture is the nuts or frosting, but if youre a spice cake, youre 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, and
Paperback, 416 pages
Published February 28th 2006 by Ballantine Books (first published January 1st 2005)
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Average rating 3.89  · 
Rating details
 ·  6,058 ratings  ·  569 reviews

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Jul 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
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 10, 2009 rated it liked it
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 ...more
Nov 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Jun 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Dec 06, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
This had to be one of the most depressing Lorna Landvik books I have ever read. I was tempted to do to this e-book, as I did to another one of her's that went a little too far into the author's politics and have Amazon take it back.

It was bad enough for it to be depressing, but historically -unless the Beatles started getting popular 15 or twenty years before most of them were even born and Elvis started performing as an infant- then the history was horrible. As a matter of fact, Ms. Landvik
Christine Boyer
Jun 10, 2013 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
Margaret Dee
Jul 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was hooked on this book from the beginning. I was unfamiliar with the author but will check out her other offerings.

It was set in the 30s with memorable characters. If you are interested in history, family/friend sagas, music and race relations, this book will appeal to you. I urge you to order this book.

I debated about a 5th star but occasionally it walked right up to over sentimentality but never quite crossed the line.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nov 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
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
Jul 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Apr 15, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 rated it it was amazing
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.
Mary Aalgaard
Aug 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books. It's one that I would "take to the island," because it has everything, a character you love and root for, history, music, tragedy, interesting details, something that feels like home.
Sharon Huether
Violet, turned into a brilliant and capable woman.
She grew up during the depression. Having a bad home life and losing part of her arm in a factory accident. She was on her way out of town.

The bus was supposed to go to San Francisco. It broke down in North Dakota. She formed a friendship with members of a traveling band.

It took time for Violet to reach her true potential. When she does, there is no stopping her...Band Manager, dress designer, seamstress and a successful entrepreneur.

Great read.
Jul 26, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure why I enjoyed this book so much, but I looked forward to picking it up every night.
Love, loss, set-backs, betrayal, racism...goodness and more love.
There was a simple pleasure in reading this book (though it is not exactly uplifting).
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was ok
I liked it, but only slightly. It's a good story, but it took way too long to tell. And I seriously felt like I was plodding through it. Unfortunately, my perseverance was not rewarded. It's ok at best.
Jill Anderson
Aug 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My favorite Lorna Landvik book (so far!) I read this several years ago after it was published, have my own copy of it at home and have read it more than once. Lots of humor and heart!
Teri Pre
Mar 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2018-reads
I LOVED this book! I'm going to be thinking about parts of it for a long time.
Aug 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
Delightfully different, each and every chapter begins from the perspective of old age. Then off we go, a flashback of younger years and the actual story line. Self exploration with much thought provoking pauses, great read.
Apr 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Haley Perry
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
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
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
Oct 19, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Sep 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Oct 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Aug 17, 2009 rated it it was ok
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
Hannah Garden
Oct 31, 2008 rated it really liked it
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!
Mar 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I'm delighted to say this is one of the best books I've read in a long time. Realizing I'm part of the miracle of life each and every day. This is one of those books you'll think about long after you are done reading it.
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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.

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