Poignant Reads: ‘The Melody’ By Jim Crace and ‘The Aftermath’ By Kelley Armstrong

9780385543712

‘The Melody’ By Jim Crace
From the Booker Prize-shortlisted author of Harvest, Quarantine, and Being Dead, a tender new novel about music, celebrity, local intrigue, and lost love–all set by the Mediterranean Sea
Aside from his trusty piano, Alfred Busi lives alone in his villa overlooking the waves. Famed in his town for his music and songs, he is mourning the recent death of his wife and quietly living out his days, occasionally performing the classics in small venues–never in the stadiums he could fill when in his prime. On the night before receiving his town’s highest honor, Busi is wrested from bed by noises in his courtyard and then stunned by an attacking intruder–his hands and neck are scratched, his face is bitten. Busi can’t say what it was that he encountered, exactly, but he feels his assailant was neither man nor animal.
The attack sets off a chain of events that will cast a shadow on Busi’s career, imperil his home, and alter the fabric of his town. Busi’s own account of what happened is embellished to fan the flames of old rumor–of an ancient race of people living in the surrounding forest–and to spark new controversy: something must finally be done about the town’s poor, the feral vagabonds at its edges, whose numbers have been growing. All the while Busi, weathering a media storm, must come to terms with his wife’s death and decide whether to sing one last time.
In trademark crystalline prose, Jim Crace portrays a man taking stock of his life and looking into an uncertain future, all while bearing witness to a community in the throes of great change–with echoes of today’s most pressing social questions.
https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/566442/the-melody-by-jim-crace/9780385543712

Review:

A perfect book to take with you on a road trip, to the cottage and a long weekend out of town.  There are definite throws to a supernatural presence amidst or perhaps something more sinister outside Busi’s dwelling.  Or is he struggling with his own inner demons?  Jim Crace, has a wonderful written hand.  Not only is ‘The Melody’ a poetic read but it is also infused with lots of moments for you to ponder your own life and life’s work that maybe dangling at the your finger tips through the eyes and actions of our hero, Busi.

9780399550362
‘The Aftermath’ By Kelley Armstrong
Secrets don’t remain hidden for long in this thrilling read from a #1 New York Times bestselling author that’s perfect for fans of Adam Silvera’s More Happy Than Not and Barry Lyga’s Bang.
Three years after losing her brother Luka in a school shooting, Skye Gilchrist is moving home. But there’s no sympathy for Skye and her family because Luka wasn’t a victim; he was a shooter.
Jesse Mandal knows all too well that the scars of the past don’t heal easily. The shooting cost Jesse his brother and his best friend–Skye.
Ripped apart by tragedy, Jesse and Skye can’t resist reopening the mysteries of their past. But old wounds hide darker secrets. And the closer Skye and Jesse get to the truth of what happened that day, the closer they get to a new killer.

Review:

‘The Aftermath’ was one of my highlights reads this summer!  It painted a shocking potrait of what is left behind after a tragedy such as school shooting.  The hatred, mental health issues and social isolation is exposed along with the people who have been effected and their struggle to overcome it’s trauma.  Armstrong does a wonderful job drawing you within the egg that her novel reads like a true film – be ready for intrigue, suspense and a lot of questioning.  I was literally off my seat wondering what is to come after every chapter and it left me with a strong ‘who done it glow’.  As a casual observer, this topic will leave you feeling slightly more educated around it’s residue and perhaps emphatic to the causes that bring people into it’s space.
https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/535131/aftermath-by-kelley-armstrong/9780399550362/

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