A Thousand Perfect Notes by C G Drews
|A Thousand Perfect Notes by C G Drews|
|Reviewer: Jill Murphy|
|Summary: Hugely moving story about music, first love and domestic violence. How does one create a magical, powerful story from these disparate ingredients, you may ask? Well, read on! (Some distressing, violent scenes).|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 300||Date: June 2018|
|External links: Author's website|
What he wants most in the world is to cut off his own hands. At the wrist would be best.
What child would think such a thing? Beck would think such a thing. The son of a talented pianist who became ill and could no longer play, Beck is the servant of his thwarted mother's ambitions. He must be the pianist now. And Beck's mother - the Maestro - makes him practise for hours every day. If he rebels in any way, his mother's response is violent. But Beck doesn't want to play Chopin. He wants to compose. Forbidden music fills his head but it's an impossible dream.
It's getting harder and harder to hide what's going on. Beck's little sister Joey is behaving badly at kindergarten - acting out things she has seen at home. Beck is given a project at school and his partner, August, is perceptive enough to see that things aren't quite right. And, August being August, she won't leave it alone. Beck has never had a friend before, least of all one like August, protective of anyone in need, and her beautiful eyes make the music inside him swell and swell, until he almost bursts with it...
... but the Maestro doesn't want Beck to have a friend.
Wow. A Thousand Perfect Notes walked up to me, commanded my full attention and didn't let go until the very last page. I'm still thinking about it several days after I finished reading. It's the story of a great talent squashed by an overbearing parent, the protective impulse a brother feels towards his little sister, the burden of hiding dark secrets about your home life, and a blossoming first love that offers, for the first time in a boy's life, some hope. It's a lot for a short novel to contain and A Thousand Perfect Notes doesn't really even try to contain it - every word explodes off the page and into your head, where it stays, creating a tsunami of thoughts and feelings. I don't want to say anything about how it all develops and turns out. You need to read for yourself.
Potential readers should know that there are some devastatingly violent scenes and that Drews does not shrink from depicting the brutal reality of domestic violence and abuse. I found them powerful and desperately moving but I have never been subject to abuse or violence and survivors may find them triggering. On the other hand, they may find them cathartic. I mention them so that you know before reading.
Music and its transformative power. First love and its intense sweetness. Domestic violence and its pernicious enforcing of secrets. How does one create a magical and powerful story from such disparate ingredients? Well, read on. A Thousand Perfect Notes is a read of great intensity on multiple levels. I won't forget Beck in a hurry. August and Joey either.
You can read more book reviews or buy A Thousand Perfect Notes by C G Drews at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy A Thousand Perfect Notes by C G Drews at Amazon.com.
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