Review: Maria Farrer – Broken Strings

Broken Strings
Maria Farrer
Jess has a desire to play classical violin beyond everything else in her life. Focused on her goal, she is blind to other things that are happening around her until her bid for a scholarship fails. Drawn in by a grandmother she’s never met, she has another chance to make it with violin.
At times, I found this novel too painful to put down. It seemed like one thing after another turned out incorrectly. Jess just couldn’t help getting into trouble! It doesn’t help that her grandmother is very out of touch with children, and always has been.
I loved the way the characters were developed. Even the ‘servants’ had attitudes and opinions, even if the grandmother tried to suppress them. It’s hard to fit all of that into one novel, but Farrer manages it beautifully.
I didn’t really understand Jess’ reluctant teenager-ing. I mean, sure rebel, but you still play Classical violin! Who wouldn’t want an excuse to wear nice clothes? Sure, not dresses (I can understand that, I never loved them much until recently myself), but a lovely pair of dress slacks would have done the job.
I wasn’t satisfied with the way things ended up with Charlie. Sure, age gaps are a hard thing, but still! Jess never should have gotten involved with anyway, she is in such a mess herself, not to mention not having time for anything!
I had never heard of any of the musicians in the novel, so I’m still not sure if they are ‘real people’ or not. Probably not. But the music, oh, the music. Well worth listening to. I’d even go so far as to say listen to it while reading the novel! It’s nice when the author can add atmosphere in this way, just with a mention of music.
I received this novel from Scholastic in return for an honest review. Personally, I would have purchased this novel anyway if I had seen it. I look forward to seeing more from this author.

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