A brief interlude playing violin in junior school confirmed to my parents and ALL of our neighbours that I was not a musical prodigy – unless screechy, jumpy versions of Twinkle Twinkle are a sign of greatness?
Despite that, I have always had a secret hankering to play the ‘cello, which lives on to this day. I can’t explain why, I just do (thankfully, for our current neighbours, we neither have the room nor the money for me to get one).
In her book, The Truths And Triumphs of Grace Atherton, Anstey Harris describes her character playing the cello in such a way I could almost hear the notes floating off the page.
It stirred something within me and, just as Grace loses herself in music, I lost myself in reading this book.
This is what the blurb says:
Between the simple melody of running her violin shop and the full-blown orchestra of her romantic interludes in Paris with David, her devoted partner of eight years, Grace Atherton has always set her life to music.
Her world revolves entirely around David, for Grace’s own secrets have kept everyone else at bay. Until, suddenly and shockingly, one act tips Grace’s life upside down, and the music seems to stop.
It takes a vivacious old man and a straight-talking teenager to kickstart a new chapter for Grace. In the process, she learns that she is not as alone in the world as she had once thought, that no mistake is insurmountable, and that the quiet moments in life can be something to shout about …
Here’s the thing, though, I avoided this book for weeks for one reason; the publishers included the line ‘For fans of Eleanor Oliphant’. Such comparisons do not do books any favours, in my humble opinion.
However, I kept seeing more and more hype (and I really liked the synopsis) and eventually my curiosity got the better of me.
It’s not like Eleanor (I have yet to find a book that matches up) but I did enjoy it.
Anstey has a lovely writing style, bringing places and people to life. Even with some more technical parts about playing and making instruments, I felt the story moved along smoothly, with some surprises along the way to keep it interesting.
If you look at other reviews you will find a mixed bag for this book but it’s a solid four from me.
Price: £4.99 (via Amazon).
My rating: Four stars.
With thanks to Simon & Schuster (via NetGalley) for the ARC in return for an honest review.