Saturday, May 7, 2016

Song of Silence - Cynthia Ruchti

Lucy is not just another music teacher; she's a music teacher driven by passion for music, as well as facing the challenge of engaging kids and helping them to appreciate music whatever their initial point of view.  Not only that, but she is carrying on the legacy of her father, who started the music program at Willowcrest.  Now, facing forced early retirement, she's left floundering, without a known purpose in life.  How does she handle the loss of her passion and identity, while dealing with a husband who's happy to have her home and grown children who suddenly need her again?  Does music even fit into this new life of hers?  What about when a deaf woman and her autistic son suddenly are added to the mix? Where is God and the gift He's given her now?

There were so many vibrant characters and poignant storylines in this book that it's difficult to know where to begin.  Lucy faced such a daunting journey of learning whether her job made her important in people's lives, or whether the person she was in that job surpassed the position and could continue to change people's lives for the better.  Finding new ways to improve her marriage, even at 56 years old, was daunting to her, and I appreciated the interactions with her therapist and her book club, HHATT (He's Home ALL the Time).  It was a good mix of humor at their husbands' lack of awareness to their true needs and feeling, but their own awareness that their husbands were good men, doing the best they could to show their wives they loved them.  Lucy's husband, Charlie, was a good representation of this paradox - throwing Lucy an unwanted retirement party one day, and yet giving her sign language lessons another.

There were some deeper issues and relationships in this story that could have been delved into a little deeper - Sasha's background and relationship with Sam, Caden's upbringing and separation from his mom, the individual members of the HHATT club and how they came through therapy, as well as several of Lucy's students.  However, they served to enrich the story and bring depth to Lucy's journey to finding her new identity in Christ, and where music fit in, so it wasn't a major detraction; it just shows well-written characters that the reader will want more of.  Personally, I could have done with a little less of Lucy's wallowing in her job loss and could have used more interactions with the other characters.  Being stuck, however, was probably more realistic, and didn't ring untrue.

I give this book 4 stars.  Even though I am not a music person by talent, interest, or training, the musical references were not over the top, and Lucy's search for meaning after her life upheaval was relatable to any career or passion.  Learning to love her people well, and to appreciate their love for her made for rich and engaging reading that I think many people could enjoy and benefit from.

You can find Song of Silence HERE.
You can find the author's website HERE.

I received a copy of this e-book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for my honest review.