String Bridge by Jessica Bell
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I was absolutely hooked from the first page. This is a fantastic book, well worth buying to find out all about Melody Hill and her inner struggles.
Last month I posted about how I had received Jessica Bell's String Bridge in the mail. I also posted about the fact that I was so excited I started to read the book straight away, and was hooked from the first page. This book was my first one for the challenge to read Australian Women Writers in 2012. Jessica Bell is an Australian writer who lives in Athens, Greece. Her debut novel String Bridge is just fantastic. Her language is very descriptive where she talks about domestic drudgery. Take this line from page 50. 'Routine is a monotonous exhaustion; an annihilation of the desire to differ. It humiliates the soul, kills passion'. The book traces the life of Melody Hill, an Australian who lives in Greece, Athens with her Greek husband and her daughter Tessa. I felt like I was journeying with Melody. Melody is disgruntled with her life. She feels she doesn't want to be just a wife, mother and career woman. What happened to the musician that she was, when she met her husband? Jessica Bell explores the relationships between mother and daughter, not just Melody with her own mother, but also with Tessa. She also explores her relationship with her husband, the ups and downs. She reaches a conclusion and then something terrible happens. At this point, as I was reading, I was utterly moved, and indeed crying. I am not going to spoil the story here, instead I urge you to read the story of this young woman and her identity struggle and her bouts of depression.
In addition to buying Jessica's book, you should also buy the soundtrack. It is available via iTunes, Amazon UK and Amazon US. For those of you in Australia, it costs A$16.90. I have done so, and have lost count how many times I have listened to Famous. Other songs I really like are Wash Me Away, If You Were Me and If Tears Were My Armor. All ten songs are great. How often do you come across a book with an accompanying soundtrack!
Jessica's second book Bitter Like Orange Peel is currently being considered by an Australian publisher (fingers crossed for success here), and Jessica hopes to gain a writing fellowship for her third novel Muted.
Jessica's blog is here, and her website here.
I am very happy that I have discovered this very talented Aussie lady and I will most definitely be following her work.