Minnie Darke’s superb debut novel Star-crossed tells the story of twenty-something Justine Carmichael, an aspiring journalist at local magazine, the Alexandria Park Star. After receiving a promotion at work, Justine soon finds herself at the helm of the astrology column. Knowing that her childhood friend Nick Jordan is guided by the horoscopes in the Star, Justine decides to tamper with the ‘Aquarius’ section in an effort to gain his affection.
While Justine believes that her alterations are harmless, the changes have widespread ramifications. From a nursing home resident to a young flight attendant, the Star’s varied Aquarian readers are inspired to make drastic life decisions due to Justine’s meddling.
Star-crossed’s strengths lie in its brilliant characters and intertwining storylines. Darke perfectly portrays not only Justine’s quirky colleagues at the Star but focuses on the ambitions of a range of personalities in the neighbourhood.
While Star-crossed’s entangled plot is reminiscent of much-loved film Love, Actually, readers are recurrently reminded of the novel’s Australian setting, as icons such as the Hills Hoist, Lleyton Hewitt, So Fresh compilations and Australian Rules are mentioned throughout the novel.
Star Crossed is a charming, clever tale about the messy, awkward and hilarious consequences of interfering with fate. Fans of romantic comedies will adore Darke’s new novel.
Emily Pullen, WHSmith Australia (Scorpio)
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Content supplied by Penguin Books Australia