Wednesday, May 23

Book Review: The Sound of Blue

Title: The Sound of Blue

Author: Holly Payne

Pages: 323

Summary: Sara Foster has left America for the adventure of a lifetime - teaching English to the sons and daughters of a statesmen in Hungary - but her idyllic adventure instead reveals a dark world of pain and redemption when she ends up teaching at a refugee camp. Sara discovers that one of her students is a celebrate composer and soon finds herself crossing the border to his war-torn homeland, determined to exonerate him for the death of his brother.

In a journey, that takes her to Dubrovnik, a magnificent stone city on the Croatian Riviera, Sarah contemplates her own identity, struggling to understand why the region's ancient and extraordinary beauty belies a history of grief. As Sara unveils the secret of the composer's escape, The Sound of Blue reveals poignant truths about the quests for refuge we all pursue. Bringing to life a world that readers seldom have the opportunity to see through the characters of great depth, Holly Payne has once again created a triumph of the heart and soul.

My Rating: 8.25/10

What I liked/disliked about the book:  Although the book was dark and depressing at times, it didn't stop it from being a very good read. Initially the book focuses on Sarah's time in the refugee camp in Turkey to teach English to the refugees. For the most part, I found Sarah to be an unlikeable and rather naive character. I'm not sure what she expected when she volunteered to go to  a war ravaged country, so her reactions when she got to the refugee camp and it's dire conditions bothered me. Initially she seemed to feel more sorry for herself than those who had nothing left. But by the end of the book her character does grow, although it isn't an ending that would make the reader completely satisfied, her character does go throw some great changes.

The author showed the effects of a war ravaged country and it's affects on the people beautifully. The book isn't light, but it isn't graphic in showing what war does either. It seemed to have a good balance in showing the affects of the war, and the healing process of the characters. There was also a few side stories, including the small boy drumming, which I found to be one of my favourite part, and it reminded me of the Cellist of Sarajevo. I also enjoyed the story about the composer and his brother and the story behind them. Although it was a secondary story, I thought the author did a good job at tying it into the main story line.

Only issues I have with the book were Sarah. Even with her growth, she was an unlikeable character. I also have issues with the ending, where I both enjoyed and disliked it. It doesn't tie everything up, and I do wish a few more thing had been, but at the same time, the ending fit the uncertain future of the characters of the book wonderfully. So some mixed feelings there. Otherwise it was a very good read.

Would I recommend it to read: I would, it was a good book, a little depressing, but it did a fantastic job at showing a war ravaged country and the people affected by it.

What to read next: The Cellist of Sarajevo


  1. I had not heard of this book before, Jules, but think that based on your review, it sounds like one that I need to read. Though the ending doesn't tie up neatly in a bow, there seems to be a deep and resounding impact that this book left on you, and it would probably strike me the same way. The only caveat I have is that I want to read something lighter during the summer, so this one might have to wait until the fall! Terrific review today!

    1. I hope you do get a chance to read the book, summer or fall! I think you would likely be satisfied with the ending of the book. In fact, I think this would be and a good book for you. I hope you get to read it soon.