Friday, November 18, 2011

Review: STRING BRIDGE by Jessica Bell

String Bridge: Greek cuisine, smog and domestic drudgery was not the life Australian musician, Melody, was expecting when she married a Greek music promoter and settled in Athens, Greece. Keen to play in her new shoes, though, Melody trades her guitar for a 'proper' career and her music for motherhood. That is, until she can bear it no longer and plots a return to the stage--and the person she used to be. However, the obstacles she faces along the way are nothing compared to the tragedy that awaits 
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This is one of the deepest books I've read in a long time. Most of my usual reading list consists of middle-grade and young adult fantasy and whimsy with a touch of the dark. It can be pretty deep in a symbolic way. But not like this book.

This book made me feel.

Perhaps because I'm a mother trying to live out her dream (writing for me, not music), I especially related to Melody's plight. But I think there are many ways in which Melody represents all of us struggling with finding fulfillment, purpose, and ultimately love and belonging.

I really loved this bit:
"I sit in silence sipping my wine, looking into the brownish sky, imagining the stars I'd see if I were sitting on my parents' verandah on the island. Somewhere up there is us, a happy us, in some parallel universe, living the way we're supposed to be. I truly believe that the earth is our practice ground - the place where we are to test things out, to make mistakes, to discover what we believe in, what we are passionate about. Death is when we move on and go up there - to the real world; to start again, to rectify our mistakes and live a happy and fulfilling existence. There is no hell. Earth is hell. This is where we are allowed to sin. Up there, is where we no longer want to."
The descriptions are beautiful and symbolic, very well crafted. Jessica Bell makes Greece come alive.

I really love the way Melody questions everything and doesn't let herself hold onto comforting yet dysfunction-enabling conceptions of her own life. She analyzes it, admits her own faults, and keeps trying to be the person she wants to be.

When tragedy strikes, as the blurb hints, Melody is so human. I cried nonstop. And yet, there's life and joy again after tragedy.

On a personal note, I appreciated the author's sensitivity to the very difficult decisions a mother has to make to balance work, family, romance, and dreams. The subject was never treated rashly. Like I said before, this is a deep book, one I think many adults will swallow whole and feel full. I know I did.

Watch the book trailer. This song is in the book, along with a bunch of other great songs that read like heart-wrenching poetry.

Ready to read the book?

To purchase the paperback:

To purchase the eBook:

To listen to samples of the soundtrack, visit iTunes.

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1 comment:

  1. Wow, Katrina! Thank you SOOOOOOOOO much! You're the second person who has singled out that paragraph, you know that? It's one of my favorite parts too. So thrilled you enjoyed the book! And thanks a million for being a part of my blog tour. :o) xoxo


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