Sunday, April 27
Book Review: The Blue Guitar
Author: Ann Ireland
Summary: At the International Classical Guitar Competition in Montreal, top-flight musicians fly in from all over the world to compete in a gruelling week. A career can be made or lost here, and the slightest mishap - a lapse of memory, a shaking right hand, a broken fingernail - can ruin years of preparation.
More than a decade ago Toby made the finals in a similar competition but suffered a breakdown and is only now venturing back into the fray. Middle-aged Lucy is tired of playing bar mitzvahs and weddings and is determined to perform the recital of her life. Trace is a kayaking teenager from the West Coast who seems careless in her talent.
Judges and contestants alike battle and scheme to achieve what they most desire here. There is much more than pretty music being performed on this stage.
My Rating: 7.75/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: I enjoyed the book, especially the competition, finding it to be well written, and captured me into the story, far more than I thought it would.
I was surprised on how much I became invested on who would win the competition, and was surprised by who won. The characters and their experiences during the competition, were incredibly well written. While I don't think I liked any particular character more than another, and at times I found certain aspects of an individual's characters development or story arc awkward, I still think it worked for the end result. The author wrote a great story, and it wasn't something I was sure I would enjoy reading when I started, but by the end it was an enjoyable read.
The awkwardness I found with certain character arcs was my biggest issue in the book. I found that certain pieces of the plot, just didn't flow with the rest of the story as well as it could have. I also found that Toby's partner difficult to read about. He was a very snobbish, selfish and jerk of a character. He was necessary for Toby's development, but I couldn't stand him. His actions at work and towards his partner, he supposedly cares about, were awful. I found his thought process throughout the book, irksome, and was very frustrated at times with the character. While I think he's necessary for the development of Toby and had a fitting ending, I'm on the fence on his part in the book.
I think how the author chose to end the book was wonderful and probably one of the best parts of the book. In the end, while I had my ups and downs with this book, it was an enjoyable read.
Would I recommend it to read: I would it was well written and I think a lot of readers would really appreciate the story and the journey the characters go on.
What to read next: More Canadian Lit.
Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, 2014 Category Challenge, 7th Annual Canadian Book Challenge, Alphabet Challenge, Mount TBR Challenge, New Author Challenge