Friday, 20 June 2014

String Bridge by Jessica Bell

Reviewer: JJ Marsh

What We Thought: Made me cry. And curse and huff and want to throw things. In a good way.

Melody’s given up on music to be a wife and mother. She loves her husband and daughter but something’s not right. Maybe she needs to fix the past first. Her childhood was, at best, colourful. The future holds all kinds of rosy shades but the choice of any one is going to cause upset, either hers or her family’s. Or both. Melody dithers and dallies until the choice is taken out of her hands. Certain scores will never be settled and certain sorries left unsaid.

Jessica Bell’s writing is life under a microscope. The minutiae of human interaction is observed with such accuracy, it could be a lepidopterist’s scalpel. She has a wonderful, almost cinematic skill at describing facial expression, tone of voice and nuance of behaviour.

Set in Greece, the descriptions of city and island flora, fauna and inhabitants come to full sensory life. Characters sparkle off the page, evoking powerful reactions in the reader and immersing us in this world so deeply, you want to book a return ticket.

This is the first I’ve read from this author but now got the box set. I want more.

You’ll enjoy this if you liked: A White Woman on a Green Bicycle, A Girl’s Guide to Hunting and Fishing, Jodi Picoult.

Avoid if you dislike: emotional wringers, the expatriate perspective, music.

Ideal accompaniments: bitter coffee with ouzo, yoghurt with honey and figs and Amy Winehouse’s Frank.

Genre: Literary fiction, contemporary

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