The Street of Seven Stars

The Street of Seven Stars The Old Stucco House Sat Back In A Garden, Or What Must Once Have Been A Garden, When That Part Of The Austrian City Had Een A Royal Game Preserve Tradition Had It That The Empress Maria Theresa Had Used The Building As A Hunting Lodge, And Undoubtedly T

Agatha Christie She is considered the source of the phrase The butler did it , although she did not actually use the phrase herself, and also considered to have invented the Had I But Known school of mystery writing.Rinehart wrote hundreds of short stories, poems, travelogues and special articles Many of her books and plays were adapted for movies, such as The Bat 1926 , The Bat Whispers 1930 , and The Bat 1959 While many of her books were best sellers, critics were most appreciative of her murder mysteries.

[Reading] ➶ The Street of Seven Stars By Mary Roberts Rinehart –
  • Paperback
  • 168 pages
  • The Street of Seven Stars
  • Mary Roberts Rinehart
  • English
  • 04 October 2019
  • 9781406839319

10 thoughts on “The Street of Seven Stars

  1. says:

    By now, you probably already know that I m obsessed with her work She is quickly taking a seat right next to Agatha Christie in my love of a good mystery There is something so wonderfully lush about her narrative style that I get transfixed by what is taking place on the page The plots and characters are so cleverly written and thought out, that I can t help but fall in love every time I crack open the pages.When I first picked this one up, I assumed that it was another one of her mysteries After I got past the half way point, I realized I had been duped by the synopsis and the cover This wasn t a mystery at all, it was a gothic romance I will admit that I was a bit miffed at first I felt cheated somehow, as if I was offered a gourmet, seven course meal, only to find out I would only get to enjoy the first three courses I actually put the book down for a few hours, stewing in my disappointment Soon after, I had a strange nagging sensation that would not leave me alone There was a voice in my head screaming at me to finish the story of Harmony and her young doctor Peter Byrne Every time I glance at the page, I felt Harmony s eyes boring into my brain, demanding that I pick her up and find out how everything ends Once I relented and dug back in, I was hooked I had to know if Harmony and Peter would be able to work past all the obstacles thrown in their way I had to know if Dr Anna Gates would continue to live with them or be forced to go back to the U.S to take care of her dying father I had to know if Jimmy, the young boy dying of myocarditis, would live or succumb to his illness I even had to know if Stewart would keep treating Marie so shabbily, and if he did, what she would be driven to do.As you can tell, there are some wonderful side story lines going on in this one Each of which is just as well crafted and detailed down to the smallest emotional nuance I also enjoyed how the author used the characters to explore societal morals and standards There is a small American colony in Vienna, most of them know to each other, so when our heroes don t quite match up to what is morally acceptable living, the ramifications are used to further muck things up for both Harmony and Peter, though Harmony seems to take the brunt of it.Rinehart did not let me down on the suspense part either, though it did take a backseat to the overall story There is still a international spy who not only has a crush on Harmony, but is eventually arrested and condemned to death There is also an attempted murder via a branch thrown in the way of a fast moving, down hill sleigh The attempt is born out of jealously and despair, instead of malice or evil The suspense nuggets weren t much, but they were enough, especially considering the overall tone of the book I don t think I ever understood the term gothic romance until I read this book I love the atmosphere she creates for the characters to envelop themselves in Other than the lack of someone being murdered, I felt as if I was on the tip of my toes the entire time I was tense while I was reading this, but it was that wonderful tension that forced me to continue until the end.

  2. says:

    Rinehart, a nurse who married a doctor, does like to set her romances around medical professionals, doesn t she Anyway, this is one of her non mysteries, here in pre World War I Vienna The main plot romance between a budding violinist and a student doctor is OK, at best, but there are all sorts of supporting characters that make this worth reading a dying boy, a guard, a student s mistress, a Bulgarian spy, a female doctor beginning her spinsterhoodThere is one distinctly false step at the end view spoiler the boy s mother s reaction at the end seems off hide spoiler

  3. says:

    Of course it s odd to keep filing these books as historical, since they were contemporary when they were written at least for the most part but I think that s part of their appeal for me now.This is a sweet romance while there are plenty of the typical plot twists to keep the characters apart, somehow they don t seem nearly so contrived as they often do in modern stories Maybe because, at the time, they weren t A nice little story to read at bedtime and while in the bath, if you d like to think of days gone by and so on and so forth.

  4. says:

    This is one of Mary Roberts Rinehart s pre World War I romance novels I ve come to the conclusion that she could write anything she put her mind to she wrote great mysteries, hysterically funny screwball comedies, dramas, social commentary, romances, an amazing book of war correspondent observations, novels, plays, short stories I think she practically singlehandedly started her sons publishing business by providing them with so much material to publish.This novel is set in Vienna, Austria, a winter or two before the First World War broke out It was published in September 1914, just as the war started, so dating it to the winter before is pretty reasonable There are background indications throughout the novel that war is coming troops everywhere, sentries, mentions of different European governments engaging in arming for conflict, a Bulgarian spy with carrier pigeons and these flavor the setting.By this time Vienna had been THE destination for serious medical students and had hosted art and music students for over 100 years Two such students are Americans Harmony Wells, studying violin, and Peter Byrne, a doctor wanting to do advanced surgical training Their story forms the central plot of the novel, but there are numerous interesting subplots, and the complications are about as daunting as the Alps Peter goes to visit.The social s at the heart of the conflict are clearly outlined At that time, the double standard of sexual behavior was in full force, in that men were relatively free to behave as they wanted, but women could and did lose their reputation for virtue for as little an action as being seen in the wrong place, however innocent in reality This novel uses foils to show the changing attitudes of people toward sexual freedom or constraint On one end of the scale are the very proper Boyers who ironically rent the apartment of the couple on the opposite end of the scale an American man, Wallace Stewart, living with a young Austrian woman, Marie, who is described in pejorative terms In the middle are Peter Byrnes and Harmony Wells view spoiler Stewart incurs no consequences for his living arrangements until he meets an American woman, Anita, with whom he would like to have a serious relationship Then he knows he must hide his relationship with Marie, revealing that he knows an American woman would not like it He and Peter discuss the situation what Stewart has done with his life is his own business before he has met Anita, but after he has met her, it becomes her business too if he wants to be involved with her Stewart thinks he can wipe his slate clean and start fresh with Anita without saying anything about his past, but Peter convinces him to tell Anita and thereby test her, to see if she s big enough to forgive him his past She rejects Stewart.Marie, on the other hand, pays for her relationship with Stewart all along by the treatment she receives She lives on Stewart s money in exchange explicitly for cooking and cleaning and implicitly for sexual relations When she and Stewart meet Peter and Harmony, it is understood that Peter won t introduce her to Harmony a bad woman cannot expect to be treated as an equal to a good woman When she and Stewart go to the resort in the Alps, at first it seems their plan is to appear as a couple, but then Stewart meets Anita and tells Marie straight out that she has to stay indoors and away from him in public so that nobody finds out about her His treatment of her is completely horrible, and it s even horrible that this is considered by most of the characters in the novel as normal under the circumstances Stewart even has the gall to complain about Marie falling in love with him she wasn t supposed to Marie really has to suffer for her choices Peter does what he can for Marie, taking her back to Vienna and taking her into his home until she can go to America with a plan to start over again and become somebody respectable in society.The relationship of Peter and Harmony falls somewhere between the Boyers and the Stewart Marie relationship, but it starts out and returns to the conservative side When Harmony loses her first home and lands in the Pension Schwartz with the two doctors Peter Byrnes and Anna Gates, everything is said to be proper When Anna proposes that they set up housekeeping as a trio, she says, It may not be conventional, but it will be respectable enough to satisfy anybody Respectability hinges on Anna being, at 45, considered old enough to serve as chaperone to 30 year old Peter and 20 year old Harmony This would satisfy the conventions, but Mrs Boyer assumes that Peter and Harmony are living in sin when she visits and Anna isn t home, and she spreads the word among the other American ex patriots that Harmony is not to be treated as a respectable woman Thus is Harmony s reputation ruined, without cause Harmony is innocent enough not to understand at first what has happened However, when Anna has to leave for good, and Mrs Boyer visits again the very day this happens, Harmony is well aware that she is now outside the conventions for her society, and she understands that to preserve her good reputation, she has to leave and find somewhere else to live.Peter s position is ambiguous The day Anna leaves, he argues with Harmony that he will be able to find a replacement for Anna and sets about doing so he feels that the day or two between Anna s departure and the arrival of the replacement are not a problem for Harmony so long as nobody who matters finds out Thus it is clear that they both know it is Harmony who will pay the consequences of their joint choices However, it is Peter who pays part of those consequences when Mrs Boyer carries her indignant impressions to the club and spreads the word to the replacement tenant as well as to a young man who fancies himself in love with Harmony Peter is the object of the young man s wrath, and the other woman doctor will not move in Just at this point, it is very interesting to see the foils come together when Marie arrives from the resort on the day that Harmony is secretly moving herself to a new home A later thought of Harmony s on the situation reveals the double standard But to go back meant, at the best, adding to Peter s burden of Jimmy and Marie, meant the old situation again, too, for Marie most certainly did not add to the respectability of the establishment Marie could take Anna s physical place, but she cannot act in the chaperone role She is not respectable, not to mention she is also 19 years old and probably very pretty It is interesting that Peter can have Marie living there and still be received by Mrs Boyer when he calls on the Boyers, and yet after Harmony has moved and passes Mrs Boyer in the street, Mrs Boyer refuses to acknowledge her Peter can also be company for McLean, the young man who is in love with Harmony, even though McLean had accused Peter of ruining Harmony Obviously, men cannot be tainted by the same things that taint women.Finally all the obstacles are overcome, all the conventions satisfied, the gossips who helped convince Mrs Boyer that Peter and Harmony were living outside the conventions have been forced to clarify and confess that there was nothing wrong after all, and all the subplots are tied up neatly hide spoiler

  5. says:

    There is certainly a lot of character development here.The book seems to be about an American girl named Harmony who seeks to make her fortune as a musician, in Germany She meets a guy Peter who takes it upon himself to protect her whether or not she wants it However, she wishes to be independent and to continue in her career efforts rather than marry.Harmony seems to be well established brought up in the blooming culture of women being strong, self sufficient, equal, etc as well as liberally minded and seems to take it for granted that anyone else might think otherwise I hadn t realized that such a culture existed during that time period so much so that she could take it for granted, anyhow, without even realizing the opposition.The characters are confronted with some moral issues, but if they offend you, the end part of the book probably won t I mean, Harmony and Peter end up both living in the same place, along with a doctor lady and an orphan child in Peter s care This is not an abnormal living arrangement in Harmony s culture, but it is offensive in the culture of those who would be her references and Peter understands this , and so she has a lot of trouble because of this, even though she and Peter don t seem to think they love each other much of the time and even though the doctor is there with them Ultimately, Harmony leaves and goes out on her own without telling Peter where she is going She comes back just before the sick orphan child dies.It gets to where Harmony feels that Peter proposes to her every time things go wrong, as if it will make everything better Actually, that starts very early on.Anyway, Harmony doesn t want to marry Peter since she wants to pursue her career and because she doesn t think she loves him she thinks he just wants to protect her out of pity or something and she wants him to pursue his career instead However, through their character development they finally learn some things and decide to marry at the very end is when they come to this conclusion.Anyway, if they were that set on their careers, I don t see why they shouldn t have just gotten married and both continued as they were, without being miserable about each other except with romance after , unless they were expecting to have children immediately but they never even mentioned children so I m guessing they just were brought up in a culture where you had to do certain things when you got married, no questions asked It seemed like they thought they had to be comfortably settled to get married like all married people were well off and had leisure to sit around idly on expensive furniture all day or something Did one exist One thing I didn t quite understand was why they thought of themselves as lonely even when they were with each other all the time I don t equate desire for sex or even desire for romance with loneliness, personally, although it can certainly coincide in a powerful way It s not at all the same thing, although both are quite severe, even apart Sure there might be immensely strong desire for it, but that s hardly the same thing as loneliness I m guessing the characters hardly knew what true loneliness was, separate from sexual longings either that, or it just wasn t something they considered or experienced much.Anyway, it s a wild book The writing style is nice not the easiest to follow, but fairly relaxing The narration was great.

  6. says:

    Harmony Wells is a struggling American studying music all alone in pre WWI Vienna, Peter Byrne a young doctor in similar circumstances He vows to look after her, out of which an awkward relationship and romance begins to blossom.This novel was far from what I expected from the American Agatha Christie The cover promises a novel of romance and suspense , but I m not sure it was much of either I know that Christie wrote a few unheralded romances too, but I doubt they were quite like this one Not that Harmony and Peter don t have a romance of sorts, they do, with all that ultimately entails, it s just that there wasn t anything particularly romantic about the pair of them She s nice but dull, he s saintly yet shabby There are some typically melodramatic trimmings included with which to bring them together their desperate poverty, a seriously ill boy named Jimmy who they both care for but, like Peter s appearance, theirs is a rather shabby affair.As for the suspense, I couldn t detect any Don t be fooled into thinking that, despite the author, The Street of Seven Stars is in any way a mystery story If it was supposed to be, rather, a gothic romance, then it s an unusually lukewarm one.And yet it s not badly written, the overall tone never quite degenerated into a mushy melodrama and there were some unexpectedly gritty insights into the underside of a Vienna preparing for war The writer certainly knew her location intimately.But in the end, hampered with uninteresting leads and being neither really one thing nor the other, it became merely meandering.

  7. says:

    I can only blame myself for not particularly enjoying this book Having read Rinehart s The Circular Staircase and knowing her to be called the American Agatha Christie, I assume all her novels were the same detective mystery genre Wrong I managed to pick one an anomaly of the bunch and only took the time to glance at blurb rather than read it, doing so may have caused me to realise beforehand and avoid disappointment Simply put, this story wasn t for me, I found it quite boring The irony is that I chose it because I felt I hadn t read a truly decent book recently and could rely on this author to provide one I didn t warm to the characters, finding the first of the main ones feeble and the second saintly to the point it became sickly.The ending was inevitable the whole way through, however being perhaps half asleep I didn t see the way in which it would come to be encouraged, so that at least was something.I will definitely be reading another Mary Roberts Rinehart, but this time I will make sure it s of the right genre

  8. says:

    Lovely, sweet story about love, difficult life choices, self sacrificing kindness and generosity, investing ones talents, and struggling toward ones dreams.

  9. says:

    Well written, and beautiful description The characters were unique and interesting, and the choice between a career and love was an interesting problem for them to face The romance was sweet, and there was an interesting foil relationship that was completely opposite the main characters.The pace was a little slow The cover promised a novel of romance and intrigue, but the story was a little light on intrigue There was a subplot about a spy war, but it didn t come into the story much.The plot was a little stressful due to their lack of funds, which put them in danger of starving and destitution I understand the pressure of trying to build a career with only a little funds to fall back on, so that may be why it cut so close.Overall, a story I would read again someday, but not necessarily one I need to own.

  10. says:

    Old Fashioned MelodramaThis particular Mary Roberts Rinehart novel is very old fashioned which makes the actions of the characters aggravating Still, human nature is the same no matter what year it is.This is an early Rinehart novel, but, her writing in places just shines with her genius and talent This is a slow , thoughtful, insightful reading experience I don t recommend this to those who want mystery and Suspense As usual, there is plenty of ambiance I am not sure about the so called illustrated advertisement on the cover This consisted of a few small old fashioned drawings which seemed to have no connection to the novel Very strange.

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