Let me just start off by saying that I can’t imagine not loving anything written by Sara Zarr. All of her stories [see also Story of a Girl, Sweethearts, and How to Save a Life] are just so compelling, and her characters so realistic that I become very quickly attached. Finishing one of her books always makes me feel like a friend moved away; very bitter-sweet. One of the reasons I thought this particular book was so great is because it was still completely accessible even though I don’t know a ton about classical music or playing piano [so you shouldn’t let that stand in your way if you’re not well versed either].
In this story, we meet Lucy Beck-Moreau — musical prodigy and former concert pianist. She used to be a pretty big deal. I’m talking traveling the world, recording songs with symphonies, and hearing herself on the radio big… But then, she suddenly stopped performing. Everyone has their theories about what happened, but no one knows the real story. Now that Lucy’s younger brother has a new teacher — because the former teacher dropped dead in the middle of a lesson — Lucy is starting to deal with her feelings about the whole situation, partly in hopes that she can help her brother avoid the burnout she experienced.