I really needed to cry when I read this book and it delivered. Sad tears, happy tears. All the feels. The Song of the Sea is one of my favourite books and I knew I could count on Jenn Alexander to write a story that would be both terribly human and hopeful.
Spencer Adams’ dream of becoming a punk rock star is now a reality. Her band Shattered Ceilings is working on their second album and it’s going great. Music saved her life when her mom and she were living in and out of the local shelter, and Spencer has offered to use her time between tours to give teenagers who are in the same situation a chance to learn the basics of playing the guitar. The social worker assigned to help her turns out to be none other than Faith Siebert, the woman who broke her heart ten years ago, in high school.
Jenn Alexander is another quietly brilliant writer, who understands the power of words. To be honest, this isn’t the most original story, yet the writing makes it stand out. The characters feel real, the emotions genuine, the missed opportunities, the weight of expectations, the powerlessness Faith felt and against which she didn’t know she could rebel. Spencer learned to be strong earlier on, or maybe she always was, and while she’s a wonderful person, as a character I found Faith more fascinating. Because she has work to do, habits to shatter, control to reclaim. And as much as I hope she would have eventually been able to do it even if Spencer hadn’t unexpectedly waltzed back into her life, I love that this is what gave her the impetus. Even if to be fair to her, she’d started already, by getting a divorce before the story begins.
There is something both powerful and romantic in finding out that even though, sure, you’re not totally useless on your own, the right person by your side gives you strength and clarity and courage. Possibilities. The ability to allow the best version of yourself to bloom. Not even necessarily by doing anything themselves, just by being there. If it sounds like I’m writing this from experience, it’s one hundred per cent accurate. And that may be why I found Faith so relatable, despite not having much in common with her.
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