The Blurb (from Goodreads): 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.
Melody's struggle follows a difficult trajectory, one that the reader struggles through with her. At almost every step, I found myself feeling the same emotions felt by Melody, wanting her to do the things she wanted to do--even when they weren't the best choices for herself or her family. I identified with Melody throughout the entire novel, fighting and crying and yelling when she did.
I love the way that Bell develops her characters. Each of them felt like a real person that could have stepped out of my own life and settled into print. I especially loved the way Melody's daughter, Tessa, came to life, as I think it's sometimes difficult to capture the wonder and excitement of children. In this case, I never once doubted the authenticity of the little girl's voice.
Another aspect of the book that I loved was reading Melody's songs. It's wonderful that Bell is such a talented artist, in that she both writes beautiful prose and beautiful music. A soundtrack to the book is also available (from iTunes, Amazon.com, Amazon UK).
String Bridge is a wonderful, heart-wrenching read. Anyone who enjoys a strong, character-driven novel should not hesitate to pick this up.
Bottom line: Read this book!
Also available from Barnes and Noble.
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, such as HarperCollins, Pearson Education and Macmillan Education.
In addition to String Bridge, Jessica has published a book of poetry called Twisted Velvet Chains. A full list of poems and short stories published in various anthologies and literary magazines can be found under Published Works & Awards, on her website.
From September 2012 Jessica will be hosting the Homeric Writers' Retreat & Workshop on the Greek island of Ithaca, home of Odysseus.