The late Sidney Sheldon was the first novelist whose work I started reading, about 22 years ago at the age of 12 years old. I’ve kind of read almost all his books and hold a lot of them as some of my fav reads throughout the years. I’ve read The Stars Shine Down twice before, once around 10 years back and once more in 2007. I lost my copy of this novel and hence got this current copy about 2 weeks back at the used book store near Shenoy’s Junction.
Published in 1992, the novel tells the story of Lara Cameron, a successful real estate developer who came from a broken family in Nova Scotia. Lara’s mother dies in childbirth and her Scottish father doesn’t want her. Early in life, she learns to fend for herself and how to get her own way in a male-dominated world. After her father’s death, Lara makes a deal with the owner of the boarding house to secure her first building. Thrilled at her success, she moves to Chicago to start her real estate empire. Even though she encounters many problems, she is able to overcome them all and become one of America’s most successful businesswomen.
She has to use her body for that first deal and almost loses it but bounces back due to the kindhearted people who have stayed in the boarding house at once time or the other. Along the way, past her successes in Chicago & New York city, she earns the nickname of the Iron Butterfly and also gets involved with attorney Paul Martin, who has links with the mafia. She falls in love with piano maestro Philip Adler and nearly loses everything towards her 40 birthday. The novel ends with Lara seeing a fresh opportunity in a vacant lot and dreaming of what buildings could come up there, leaving the readers to presume that she gains back her empire within a year or two. The novel is good, 7 out 10, but awesome heroine.