Monday, October 31, 2011

Review: String Bridge by Jessica Bell...

While I am still doing book reviews over here at My Chaotic Ramblings, this one is a personal favor and honor for me to do here on my own blog.

This one is for Jessica Bell, also known as The Alliterative Allomorph.

Jessica has written a book, String Bridge, and has done an album to go along with it.

I've already posted lots of this info on Nov. 11th for the Chart Rush on, this post is for the review. So, here it is.

About the book:

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 ... "Jessica Bell's STRING BRIDGE strummed the fret of my veins, thrummed my blood into a mad rush, played me taut until the final page, yet with echoes still reverberating. A rhythmic debut with metrical tones of heavied dark, fleeting prisms of light, and finally, a burst of joy--just as with any good song, my hopeful heartbeat kept tempo with Bell's narrative." ~Kathryn Magendie, author of Sweetie, Tender Graces and Secret Graces, Publishing Editor of Rose & Thorn Journal

"Poet and musician Jessica Bell's debut novel String Bridge is a rich exploration of desire, guilt, and the difficult balancing act of the modern woman. The writing is lyrical throughout, seamlessly integrating setting, character and plot in a musical structure that allows the reader to identify with Melody's growing insecurity as her world begins to unravel ... String Bridge is a powerful debut from a promising writer, full of music, metaphor, and just a hint of magic." ~Magdalena Ball, author of Repulsion Thrust and Sleep Before Evening

My thoughts:

I have to say when Jessica first asked me to read the book for a review, I was slightly hesitant because ... well, I'm not much of a women's fiction sort of gal. But upon reading the very first sentence, I was hooked. Which is yet another thing that doesn't usually happen to me.

By the end of the first chapter, I had bonded with Melody in a way I have rarely bonded with a character before. At least not one that wasn't of my own creation. Jessica packed a pretty solid punch. Melody, or Mel, is a wife, a mother and is working to make ends meet in a career she really didn't want. When she met her husband, Alex, she hoped that his being a promoter would help her get some gigs. Stage fright be damned.

Mel gets pregnant and has a beautiful daughter, smart as a whip, too! But what really connected me to Mel (aside from her name of course) was the fact that she was worried about ending up like her mother. Mel's mother has some serious issues, not your typical mother picking on daughter kind of issues either. The sort of things that make you want to call up your own mother and say, "OMG thanks for not being like THIS!".

I can't say much more without spoiling the book. But I will say I cried when Mel cried, I celebrated when Mel celebrated, I became frustrated when Mel became frustrated and angry when Mel became angry. There were lots of different things that happened to Melody that I have had happen to me, so I connected on lots of different levels there. But Jessica's outstanding talent brought it all home to me, pulled me in and allowed me to share in this woman's life. I got to peek inside the windows and watch events unfold.

Thanks, Jessica, for asking me to read this book. Thank you for writing it and for having the courage to submit it to be published. Excellent book! I am certainly going to recommend this book as much as possible.


Mel Chesley said...

And on a side note, I didn't get to do the Chart Rush on the 11th. Still waiting on internet, but that's another blog for another day! See you all soon I hope.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I reviewed the CD yesterday - need to read the book next!

Mel Chesley said...

OMG yes! This is a must read!