Friday, 10 October 2014

Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral

Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ 

After her mother died, Glory retreated into herself and her music. Her single father raised her as a piano prodigy, with a rigid schedule and the goal of playing sold-out shows across the globe. Now, as a teenager, Glory has disappeared. As we flash back to the events leading up to her disappearance, we see a girl on the precipice of disaster. Brilliant and lonely, Glory is drawn to an artistic new boy, Frank, who moves in next door. The farther she falls, the deeper she spirals into madness. Before long, Glory is unable to play anything but the song "Chopsticks."

But nothing is what it seems, and Glory's reality is not reality at all. In this stunningly moving novel told in photographs, pictures, and words, it's up to the reader to decide what is real, what is imagined, and what has been madness all along....


This book is beautiful. It took me a minute to realise that Francisco wasn't real, that he was a picture Glory saw on a wine bottle, the company named Francisco and it was made in Mendoza, in Argentina a and that Glory ran away to Argentina to be with "him." And that "Francisco" didn't do those paintings. Glory did. It is hinted Glory may have a personality disorder, or some other mental illness. I felt a little sad at the end, though through most of it I couldn't stop smiling. A perfect book to read in an hour or two. I love the set up of the book, with it's photos, pictures, artwork  and messages. Read this book, even if it's just to smile.
At first it starts off showing that Glory has gone missing then shows her background, and her "relationship" with Francisco. It shows that she performed concerts (she's a famous pianist!) and ended up playing Chopsticks, often in the middle of another piece. She is taken to a rest home, where it is shown that the places Crest is identical to Francisco's schools crest. It is mentioned that she stays on the practise room playing Chopsticks for hours on end. This is a beautiful, sad and important novel. 


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