The book: String Bridge
The author: Jessica Bell
The publisher: Lucky Press, LLC
The genre: Women's Contemporary Fiction/ Literary Fiction
Jessica Bell's debut novel, String Bridge released on the 1st of Nov and is now on sale!
So basically, from the 1st to the 20th of Nov it'll be one helluva of a blog tour party, where you can hop from one blog to another and check out what everyone's saying about String Bridge and what everyone's saying about Jessica.
HERE IS THE SCHEDULE FOR THE STRING BRIDGE BOOK AND MUSIC BLOG TOUR
(Mark your calenders!)
Are you surprised with the 'music' part of it? Well, maybe I should first explain a bit about Jessica to make it easier for you.
Taken from her bio:
Jessica Bell is a literary women's fiction author, poet and singer/songwriter who grew up in Melbourne, Australia, to two gothic rock musicians who had successful independent careers during the '80s and early '90s.
She spent much of her childhood travelling to and from Australia to Europe, experiencing two entirely different worlds, yet feeling equally at home in both environments. She currently lives in Athens, Greece and works as a freelance writer/editor for English Language Teaching publishers worldwide.
Jessica has published a book of poetry called Twisted Velvet Chains, and a novel String Bridge, with Lucky Press, LLC. A full list of poems and short stories published in various anthologies and literary magazines can be found under Published Works & Awards.
She is a singer AND a songwriter AND a poet AND a novelist. How wickedly talented is that?
And String Bridge being a book that deals a lot with music (the main character being a musician), Jessica Bell has an entire soundtrack to the book which she wrote and sang and recorded herself. Details here.
Not quite believing? Check out the String Bridge trailer, that features the song 'Famous' sung by the author herself.
So what exactly is String Bridge about?
Greek cuisine, smog and domestic drudgery was not the life Australian musician, Melody, was expecting when she married a Greek music promoter and settled in Athens, Greece. Keen to play in her new shoes, though, Melody trades her guitar for a 'proper' career and her music for motherhood. That is, until she can bear it no longer and plots a return to the stage--and the person she used to be. However, the obstacles she faces along the way are nothing compared to the tragedy that awaits, and she realizes she's been seeking fulfilment in the wrong place.
And what do I think of it?
Dare you call this chicklit. And as much as I adore chicklit, this is not the tale of a single girl, lost in the city, romping about to find HER MAN. String Bridge goes beyond that. This is after the girl has found her man, her family and is pushed over as she is made to face the hard realities of life. You could call this the after-the-fairy-tale part of life.
Familial love, marital drudgery, long suppressed dreams - Jessica Bell brings it all in and questions it all. What really is more important?
The writing is awe-inspiring. It's easy to see that she's a poet. Don't get me wrong. There's no floweriness. Bell's writing hits hard and yet there's an underlying musical cadence to it.
I was so surprised with this book. I'm a YA book whore. So much so that other genres often get neglected. But reading this reminded me how much I love a good women's fiction. And this wasn't just good. It was effing brilliant.
Bell picks at the nuances of life. The little things magnified. She isn't afraid to mention things that often go unmentioned. Like, sometimes getting irritated with the demands of the daughter you love so much that you'd wish she'd shut up. Or feeling jealous when you see her smiling with her father. Or wanting to throw utensils at your husband like a stark raving lunatic even though he's not really the villain you think of him to be. Or make him out to be. Emotions run high here, so high they spiral into cracks in the main character, Melody's life and her relationships with the people around her.
The author deftly paints relationships like she is really exhibiting the pages out of the tormented mind of a woman trying to find an identity for herself beyond being a mother and a wife. Melody's relationships with each and every character that appears in the book is explored in such depth, it is as real as it gets. The strains with her mother. The annoyance with her husband, Alex. The love for Tessa. The need for music. The fluttering feelings for a certain 'button boy'. Bipolarity, anxiety, depression. It's raw but dealt with a sensitivity, much like the one used to deal with the oddity of love.
And if you think you have it all figured out, think again. Because String Bridge veers off the path of predictability and throws you off your seat in such a way it makes you gasp for breath.
String Bridge is evocative of music that comes from a sad place then rises above the din and makes you appreciate the beauty of the world we live in and the time we have here.
I highly recommend this.
And HUGEST CONGRATULATIONS to Jessica for debuting with such a remarkable novel.