Not at all what I expected. First part was going well, then it took a dark turn, but by then you are already committed and have to finishe the journey.
I liked this story and enjoyed the idea of "song reading". It's not often that I run across a whole new idea like that, and the fact that those songs that get stuck in our minds might actually mean something was a fun concept.
Boy,this one really sucked me in. I read it in just a few hours. A character study of a dysfunctional family, the writing was very well done.
a teenager and her older sister whose mother is dead and father has disappeared. They've put together a cheery and eccentric life in their small midwestern hometown. Mary Beth--beautiful, empathetic and smart--practices an art she calls song reading. Clients come to her and tell her the songs that are stuck in their head, and she decodes the song to help them with their problems.
I found this to be a very engrossing book. I really could not put it down. She did a wonderful job of capturing the emotions of dysfunctional but loving families.
This is a wonderful story about a girl who uses music to direct the course of her life and those of her family.
A very thought provoking book.
OK, I liked the author's 2nd book, so I ordered this one, her first. It got so many good reviews. I read to page 169...and dropped it. Nothing happened. The older sister is not well delineated. The story is boring. Maybe those who aren't sophisticated readers will find this enjoyable. I just thought it was a waste of my time. But other reviewers say otherwise.
In this book, a young girl is being raised by her sister after their father abandons them and their mother dies. The older sister becomes a "song reader": she analyzes the songs that are stuck in people's heads and tells them what they mean in their lives. Her business booms until an unforeseen event happens to ostracize her and her sister from the community.
This book is wonderfully written from the younger sister's point of view. You can feel her anger and sadness at the various events in the book. The book also deals with mental illness in a very subtle and moving way.
I first heard of Lisa Tucker and her books in Book Reporters weekly newsletter. After reading the excerpt, I made a trip to the bookstore! This is a wonderful story. The characters become your friends, you care about what happens to them. I was sorry to see it come to an end.
I didn't like this book, but I did finish it. Very depressing. The storyline was sad, I guess, as every single person was depressed or had some sort of mental illness. I thought the idea of song reading was a bit strange too. I felt sorry for the main character, Leeann, as she was just a kid and everything seemed to be dumped on her, too much really for one person. Didn't like the way her sister was painted as always helping everyone, the storyline with the mother, etc. So depressing to the point where it lost me. Just not my type of book, I guess.
Interesting contemporary story. Set in the early 1980s. Chocked full of references to songs. Written from the younger sister's point of view, this interesting story deals with the concept of family. A less than expected turn at the end but the story wrapped up well. Worth the sleep I didn't get when I finished it late in the night.
At first the book seemed to have almost a light storyline, then as it went on it was more developed, I was surprised at the layers of secrets. I enjoyed this book, it was a fun quick read.
Two sisters, Leeann and Mary Beth, have the debut novel The Song Reader firmly in their grip. Author Lisa Tucker seems almost entranced by her main characters, a teenager and her older sister whose mother is dead and father has disappeared. They've put together a cheery and eccentric life in their small midwestern hometown. Mary Beth--beautiful, empathetic and smart--practices an art she calls song reading. Clients come to her and tell her the songs that are stuck in their head, and she decodes the song to help them with their problems. Says her little sister Leeann, the novel's narrator: "She could take a customer who had all kinds of problems--poverty and family quarrels and lost love and even illness--and point her finger at the one thing that, if they found it and dealt with it, would give them the strength to handle all the rest." Leeann sees Mary Beth's song reading--and everything else about her sister--as admirable and glorious. But Mary Beth's gift leads her to a secret truth about a prominent neighbor, and the fragile structure of the girls' orphaned life comes tumbling down. Each secret seems to domino another until the sisters' whole complex emotional history is laid bare. The Song Reader can be a little willfully twee with its wacky characters and unlikely scenarios, but Tucker has so thoroughly imagined her protagonists' psychological workings that the book exerts an undeniable pull. --Claire Dederer
Unexpected ending...as well as a good read.
Mary Beth is trying to support herself and her younger sister Leean in their small southen home town. Mary beth pratices her owm unique talent "song reading'.