Friday 5 September 2014

Review: The Unfinished Symphony of You and Me by Lucy Robinson

Sally is an incredible singer but she sings only in her wardrobe where nobody can hear her. She'd rather join a nudist colony than sing in public.
That is until she ventures to New York where a wild and heady summer of love and loss changes her forever. No longer able to hide in the shadows, Sally must return home to London to fulfill a promise she cannot break - to share her voice.
But just as she's about to embark on her new life, a beautiful man turns up on Sally's doorstep bearing a sheepish smile and a mysterious hand-written message.
How did he find her? Why is he here? Does he hold the truth to what happened back in New York? And, with him back on the scene, will she still have the courage to step into the spotlight?

Review: opening a new novel by the fabulous Lucy Robinson gives you the same kind of buzz you get when you enter a familiar shopping centre with a purse full of vouchers, or when you board an aeroplane for a much-needed 2 week holiday, or when you go to the most amazing all you can eat buffet. Its like excitement mixed with familiarity-definitely a good feeling. I just love the humour, sarcasm and rudeness that make up the novels of Lucy Robinson and this one is definitely no exception to that rule. 

The novel is divided into present day and flashbacks and I have to admit that I didn't enjoy the flashbacks as much as I enjoyed the present day storyline. I think this is because I knew something was going happen to change everything and that something was bad, so whenever I read the flashback scenes I was filled with a sense of foreboding, mainly due of course, so the quality of this writing. I so enjoyed watching Sally go to opera school and flourish and blossom into a more confident singer, one who can actually sing outside the wardrobe. 

I also enjoyed watching the kind of unravelling of Julian, whatever his surname might be! He seems to be a completely mysterious character and part of the purpose of the book is to show who this guy actually is and what his agenda is. I found myself flip flopping between hating him and fancying him, I think overall I was just wary of his character and his agenda but this didn't mar the book at all for me, I was just looking out for the lovely squishy Sally who I felt very protective over and wanted her to do well so so badly. The fact that I have such strong emotions about these characters shows you just how fab this author is at writing them. She writes characters who really stay with you and these guys have stayed with me since I finished the book! 

I LOVED the settings for this book. Are we in New York? Are we in the UK? You know what-have both! I thought it was brilliant, the descriptions of the buildings in Brooklyn, and the streets of New York and the various stages and dressing rooms that they all performed in. If anything I wanted this book to continue so I could see where they were going to go next and read about all the places they performed and partied! The opera was a massive part of the book as well and it was so incredibly well researched that I feel I have learnt about it just from reading this book. The whole thing must have been so fun to research but it really shows the work that has been put in in the plot and the novel as a whole! 

I actually read this book in two halves, putting it down for a while and then picking it back up again, I have no idea why I did this because it's an awesome book but I did. When I did pick it back up again, however, I could remember every detail and all of the characters and storyline and that is a testament to how good this writer is that she could create such a memorable world for me to return to. This book had me laughing out loud, crying, thinking. And really enjoying the book. I absolutely raced to the end because I had to find out what was happening. The ending was exactly as I had predicated and I love that about this book. If you haven't read any Lucy Robinson before then I suggest you go and read all her novels now and if you're a massive Fangirl like I am then this book won't disappoint and you should also go away and read it right now! 

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