no room for spontaneity, for love?
While the story of an almost-talented parent pushing their extraordinary child to perform far longer than s/he wants to is not new, this novel’s presentation of Glory’s life, talent, found love, and lost joy is entirely unique.
There’s not a single chapter (or paragraph) of traditional novel text in this book, as we learn of Glory’s talent, Frank’s family history, and their growing love for one another through newspaper clippings, text messages, old photos, concert programs, and notes slipped under the door. This novel has a website and app with bonus material, as well as a two-minute whirl through Glory and Frank’s story with this book trailer.
Book info: Chopsticks: A Novel / Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral. Razorbill, 2012. [novel tumblr] [Rodrigo’s site] [publisher site] [book trailer] Review copy and cover image courtesy of the publisher.
My book talk: Surely, Dad understands that there’s more to Glory’s life than performing… but as he demands that the piano prodigy tour overseas, away from her new boyfriend Frank who appreciates her for herself, things begin to fall apart.
Perhaps if Mom hadn’t died in the wreck when Glory was young, she would have kept Dad’s ambitions in check, allowing some interludes of real life into the teen’s strict regimen of homeschool, practice, performance, and more practice.
Frank’s family knows that attending a good school in the US will prepare him better for their winemaking business in Argentina, but fitting in at a ritzy school is difficult for this intelligent guy pigeonholed into ESL class and demeaning worksheets.
As neighbors, Glory and Frank become friends, become more than friends. Glory’s days have non-classical music seeping in; Frank’s occasional sketches become works of art dedicated to their love.
When her dad whisks Glory out of the country on an extended concert tour to get her away from Frank, she begins falling apart, playing only the simple melody of “Chopsticks” instead of her unique creative interpretations of piano classics. Can she ever recover her gifts? Can Frank find her again when all seems lost?
Conveyed completely through newspaper clippings, photos, text messages, and drawings, Chopsticks is a unique portrait of love, loss, and hope. (One of 6,000 books recommended on www.abookandahug.com)