An emotionally charged story about the power of dreams, and how passion can turn to obsession. Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music - because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.
When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?
Thrilling and powerfully written, this is an explosive debut for YA readers which tackles the dark topic of domestic abuse in an ultimately hopeful tale.
Debut Australian author and influential book blogger C.G. Drews has written a powerful novel full of music, friendship and tackling the topic of family violence.
Our main character Beck - short for Beethoven - is a classical pianist, as his mother was before him. And therein lies Beck’s problem - his mother (the maestro) fled Germany and her musical world after a stroke rendered her hands incapable of playing the piano, but she was determined that her family legacy would continue through Beck. The piano was to be his whole world and nothing short of perfection would be accepted, with anything else ending in violence. Beck is also forced to raise his kindergarten aged sister Joey, as mothering is not part of the maestro's vocabulary.
But when the persistent, quirky and enlightening August gets teamed up with Beck for a school assignment, his world gets turned on it's head. His mother won’t allow any distractions, but Beck starts to understand that he must start forcing the change that he longs for.
This is a fantastic coming of age novel that shows us a scary world that we hope can be overcome. The characters, particularly Beck and August, are wonderful and the story thunders along to a great finale!
A novel about finding yourself, best suited to middle secondary and up.
Reviewed by Rob