Cover Image: The Moon, the Stars, and Madame Burova

The Moon, the Stars, and Madame Burova

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Member Reviews

The author's atmospheric tone transports readers to seaside Brighton and gently weaves readers back and forth from the 1970s world of holiday resorts bursting with young entertainers (think Dirty Dancing) to the present day. At the centre of a large cast of (mostly) heartwarming characters are Madame Burova, a beloved Tarot reader, palmist, and clairvoyant, and Billie, a young woman who has recently lost quite a bit and whose place in the world is questioned after an unlikely discovery.

This atmospheric and charming reading experience is enriched by the narration by Nina Wadia! Wadia is an absolute master of accents, and I will be watching for more audiobooks narrated by her!
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I am new to Ruth Hogan, but I am definitely putting her on my list to read. She has developed a lovely story with such vibrant and unique characters. There are quite a few characters, but they are so well done. She deftly weaves her story through the intersection of the storylines of two main characters and dual timelines. There is a bit of a mystery as Billie is searching for her biological parents, and there are themes throughout the book regarding honoring promises and keeping secrets, racism and bullying, finding identity and love. I really enjoyed her creativity, and the book had some dogs as characters which is always a plus for me. This magical and ultimately uplifting book was a delight to read.
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What a fun story! Set in Brighton England in two time periods,  present day and the 1970’s Madame Barova is a gifted fortune teller. In the 1970’s she had a fortune telling booth on the Promenade and at a family resort. She’s had secrets told to her by many people. She had a chance at love, but the death of her lover ended her hopes for finding love. Despite that, she makes it her goal to help people, particularly Billie who is a Londoner, but was dropped off as a baby by Madame Barova’s fortune telling stall. Having kept in contact with Billie’s adopted father, she writes to Billie after her father’s death and tells Billie she has some things that Billie’s mother gave to Madame Barova to give to Billie. Billie comes to live with Madame barova hoping that Madame is her real mother. Staying in Brighton, Billie finds friends and hope for a new beginning, thanks to the efforts of Madame Barova and other residents. It’s a story of hope and the realization that it’s never too late to find out who you really are.  Nina Wadia’s narration is spot on and she easily transitions between the various voices in the story.
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Advanced Reader’s Copy provided by NetGalley and HarperAudio in exchange for an honest review.

So this is my first Ruth Hogan novel and I don't think it'll be my last. How Hogan tells this story makes you feel like you're holed up in a quaint café with a mug of something warm to drink and some sweets to nibble on while listening to a local storyteller walk down memory lane of the people that used to live there and the things that happened. I wasn't expecting the ending though, it brought me to tears - not entirely in a bad way. 

This book is about a seaside town and the things Madame Burova has witnessed throughout her life, the secrets she has been told, and the secrets she has kept. It's also a story about a woman who found out her family wasn't what she expected and who ends up on a journey to discover where she really comes from. And it's a story about the love of dogs and how they rescue humans often times more than humans rescue them. It's about love, and loss, and found family.

THE MOON, THE STARS, AND MADAME BUROVA was an absolute pleasure to read, I quickly was wrapped up in both Imelda and Billie's storylines. Even though the novels jumps around a lot in the time line of both women's lives, it makes the telling of the story all the more organic. And as much as I guessed at who Billie's dad was, the reveal caught me by surprise. All in all this is a book I might not have noticed had I not seen it on NetGalley, but I am so happy that I read it.

Nina Wadia does a phenomenal job with the audiobook narration and it adds to the magic of Hogan's prose.
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Recently divorced and jobless, Billie is blindsided when she finds a note from her deceased father admitting that she's adopted, and his confession points her towards the mysterious Madame Burova, a recently retired psychic. Past and present timelines intertwine in this sweet and mystical novel of family secrets, burgeoning identities, and star-crossed love.
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Another enjoyable book from Ruth Hogan. People and places were unique to this story. It flowed very well and the narrator was excellent. So many interesting elements that tied in well together.
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I really enjoyed Ruth Hogan's Keeper of Lost Things, so I was excited to read this title. Admittedly, I almost DNF about 1/3 of the way through, because it got off to a bit of a slow start. However, I stuck with it and I am SO glad I did. Ruth Hogan has done it again with an outstanding conclusion to this beautiful story of love, loss, reunions, and lasting friendships.
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This was a touching story about a woman who discovers she is adopted after both of her parents die.  Through her journey to discover her birth parent she is surrounded by a cast of eclectic characters.  I enjoyed this audiobook with wonderful narration.
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Madame (Imelda) Burova is ready to hang up her tarot cards and retire. She is tired of other people's lives, their ghosts from the past and their secrets, she needs rest and a bit of life for herself. Before that, however, she has to fulfill a promise made a long time ago. She has two brown envelopes that she has to deliver. Billie is living in London and her world has been upended. She has recently learned she is a Foundling and now is searching for her identiy. She has also just lost her job and her marriage has ended. Determined to find answers, she must follow a trail to Madame Burova. The Moon, the Stars, and Madame Burova is the the story of Billie, who's searching for her birth parents and Imelda Burova, the mystic who holds the key to her past.

I listened to the audiobook and will say that I had to relisten to the beginning to sort some things out. There are a lot of characters introduced, but once I sorted everything out, it was easy to keep up. The story is told over a 50 year period introducing us to the world of carnivals and the people who populate them.

I'm not sure if this was a book for me or not. The story is a dual time-line narration between early 70s and present days. It had themes of love, racism, sexually inappropriate behaviour, self-discovery, and some magic. The 1970s had behaviour that was more prevalent than it is now, so it needed to be included in this story. The mystery of Billie's birth and family is central to the storyline and brings all the themes together well. Through the twists and turns, we get to know the truth about Billie's past and who her real parents are, as well as to see her gain confidence through her journey of self-discovery. There is humour throughout the story that had me smiling at times. The characters were varied and some were more developed than others. I can't put my finger on why this book did not draw me in as much as I would have liked as many others loved it. I suggest reading some other reviews before you decide if this book is for you or not. I listened to the audiobook narrated by Nina Wadia. This is the first time I have listened to a book she narrated, and I won't hesitate to pick up another. She does a brilliant job with the different accents and ages of the characters. She has an expressive voice that fits the story perfectly.
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An uplifting, multi-layered story of friendship, family, love and loss that spans over fifty years. Although Madame Burova is a tarot reader, the book isn’t heavy with magical elements. The setting changes from past to present and keeps you wanting to read each next part. It’s a very engaging read.
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I loved the Moon, the Stars and Madame Burova by Ruth Hogan. What a great story of finding yourself and were you come from when all you know is not what it really was at all. Great story. Will recommend to all my friends.
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Imelda Burova, also known as Madame Burova, is ready to retire from her lifelong job as a tarot card reader on the Brighton Pier. Meanwhile, Billie has lost her job, her marriage and her entire identity after a discovery that leaves her questioning everything she thought she knew. Her search for answers leads her to Brighton and to Imelda. I loved this story and its foray back into the carefree 1970’s. Wadia is an accomplished and compelling narrator
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