Monday, August 31, 2015

Book Review: Play for Me

By Sara Steven

It happens without warning: At a folk-rock show at her son’s college, Lily becomes transfixed by the guitarist’s unassuming onstage presence and beautiful playing—and with his final note, something within her breaks loose.

After the concert, Lily returns to her comfortable life—an Upper West Side apartment, a job as a videographer, and a kind if distracted husband—but she can’t stop thinking about the music, or about the duo’s guitarist, JJ. Unable to resist the pull of either one, she rashly offers to make a film about the band in order to gain a place with them on tour. But when Lily dares to step out from behind her camera, she falls deep into JJ’s world—upsetting the tenuous balance between him and his bandmate, and filling a chasm of need she didn’t know she had.

Captivating and provocative, Play for Me captures the thrill and heartbreak of deciding to leave behind what you love to follow what you desire. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon.)

Many of us have delved into the waters of temptation. It’s the “grass is always greener” mentality, where you find yourself wandering into uncharted territories, seeking out whatever you might desire. Often, this comes at a price, and that is what Lily encounters when she leaves behind the security of what she knows, for the excitement of the unknown.

I felt the constant struggle within Lily. Recently an empty-nester, there’s a void within her that she has suppressed for many years. Her son’s new life at college has reminded her of the life she had given up when she’d decided to leave behind her own passions in order to take care of her family. There is something about the music, touching parts of her soul, making it an instant obsession. The reality of what’s right and wrong becomes blurred and isn’t tangible. She has everything to lose, whether she decides to give up the music or hold onto it for dear life.

I felt JJ represented lost youth for Lily. He lives his dream, even when it’s not ideal. A musician’s life can be a very marred, an ugly existence at times. Lily lives comfortably and safe, never pushing the envelope or attempting to achieve her own dreams. She can live vicariously through JJ, enabling an odd connection between the two of them. In his own right, he feels he’s struggling, too, and she’s a life preserver. Normal, and grounded. Will Lily do the unthinkable, damaging everything she’s ever known, or will she break out of her shell and let everything go?

I enjoyed this book immensely, finding it very difficult to put down. There are so many emotions, so many black and white scenarios blurred into a messy gray. Céline Keating knows just how to carry you through a woman’s journey, into what essentially becomes a re-discovery for Lily, and for most of us who have ever teetered on the “grass is greener” fence line of life.

Thanks to BookSparks for the book in exchange for an honest review. This is part of their Summer Reading Challenge (#SRC2015).


Janine said...

Great review

Unknown said...

Thank you for this very thoughtful review! And I'm really happy to have discovered your blog. I will be following !