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Jointly Reviewed by Jenny & Gitte
J&G: ✯✯✯✯ Stars
“Two broken vessels cannot hold the same water, Maestro.”
G&J: This is our first time reading one of Brandon Shire’s stories but it definitely won’t be the last. In fact we’ve gone and stocked up on his previous work. We absolutely love when an Author’s words hit straight at our hearts and that’s what happened here. We fell in love.
“But love is a fluid thing. It’s not the same for every person. The concept is. The reality isn’t. When you hear people talking, they’re usually trying to validate their own perception of what love is, or what it means to be in love.”
The writing is sublime; emotionally laden with heartbreak, grief and personal struggles. Yet in amidst that there’s the beauty of hope, inspiration and surprise human consolation in a time of great sadness. Most importantly of all is the flawless and stunning way music is interwoven almost telling the story if you will. We found this most unique and almost poetically lyrical. We were swept away as the writing unfolded so vividly through imagery and we watched with tears rolling down our cheeks and our hearts hurting. Then came healing through music and sound; liberation from guilt and fear. We listened and we loved.
“You draw your passion from the people around you.”
Martin; our Maestro stole our hearts. His story moved us to tears; his journey heart-breaking yet inspirational. His inability to let go of the past, of the loss of his daughter, affects his present – consequentially his future. Grief is overwhelming and to let go seems an impossible feat. His relationship with his wife in trouble as each struggle with their emotions, heart ache and locked away feelings, the future is bleak and coping is an impossibility. Martin and his wife have an unbreakable connection and quite a unique relationship. We understood and felt it and at no time did we feel it had any negative connotations. They each needed to be in the other’s lives yet undealt with grief is a powerful barrier to overcome.
“Sometimes, the most beautiful things we find in this life are those we can’t hold on to.”
Ren the gifted pianist entered Martin’s life when he most needed him. With his own story to tell of struggle and family relations he too needed a helping hand. The relationship between him and Martin was incredibly beautiful, soulful even – healing for both. It was an incredible journey; one we became enthralled with.
“You keep going, Maestro. There are no other options.”
So; this is where we stumbled on our rating ending up on a 4 instead of a magnificent 5. We cannot express how much we loved this story. It’s a story of human struggle more so than a romance though reading between the lines and musical notes you feel it and you understand the uniqueness of it. This meant that we were hoping and wanting an ending that differed from what we got. Not romance wise because that would have done the originality a disservice. No; what we wanted was more of a resolute ending. The abruptness of it had us quite disappointed after investing every emotional thread in our soul into this story. It was quite an odd end and it still feels like something’s missing when we think about it. We wanted the final symphony; the memory of a perfect finale. We can’t go into detail as the beauty of what we wanted as it would spoil it for future readers. What we will say is that this story deserves to be read and we hope readers pick it up. Despite the ending what came before was truly stunning!
‘There was no answer because no answer existed, and that was the cruellest of all.’
**Reviewed from an ARC copy provided by the author with thanks **
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