Review | Ghost Wood Song, Erica Waters

  • Reps: bi MC, lesbian supportive character, lesbian side character.
  • Cws & TWs: graphic death, grief, mention of child abuse, mention of child death, alcoholism, mention of sexual assault, drug use, police brutality.
  • Version françaice: //
  • Niveau VO: Intermédiaire.

Note : 2 sur 5.

(please refer to my rating system for more informations)

« If I could have a fiddle made of Daddy’s bones, I’d play it. I’d learn all the secrets he kept.

Shady Grove inherited her father’s ability to call ghosts from the grave with his fiddle, but she also knows the fiddle’s tunes bring nothing but trouble and darkness.

But when her brother is accused of murder, she can’t let the dead keep their secrets.

In order to clear his name, she’s going to have to make those ghosts sing. »
(via Goodreads)

Si je pouvais avoir un violon fait des os de Papa, j’en jouerais. J’apprendrais tous les secrets qu’il gardait si jalousement.

Shady Grove a hérité du talent de son père de pouvoir appeler les morts à l’aide de son violon, mais elle sait également que chaque accord qu’elle produira n’apportera que des problèmes et de la noirceur.

Mais quand son frère est accusé de meurtre, elle ne peut pas laisser la Mort garder tous ses secrets.

Afin de blanchir son nom, elle va devoir faire chanter ces fantômes.
(traduction personnelle)

Review

Ghost wood song is a story of grief, heritage and hidden family history. Lead by its characters and their will, it starts slow to put the scene of the novel into place, to immerse us into this very peculiar family, and this very peculiar kind-of-magic system. I am not against a slow start, when what follows can keep it up and catch my attention. It this one, that is not what happened to me. For the first half of the book, I didn’t want to DNF this book for the simple reason that, some times, something amazing can happen as the midpoint of a story. Something did happen here, but it was way too predictable for me. I was expecting some chocking events, anything that could show me I’ve been mislead all this time, but that never happened. I feel like my read of the second half of the book was just about giving it another chance, over and over again.

This is a novel in which I would have expected the author to take a little more risks, but there is something I can’t keep from the story: the love triangle is daring. I didn’t like the way it’s built, or the way it evolves, but it is rare to see a character torn between their love for a woman, and their love for a man. I found this part very interesting indeed, but once again it did not reach my expectations. I am nonetheless going to be honest with you: I don’t like love triangles in general, so there was little chance it would change now. Even thought I would have loved it, for the genders of the characters.

« Every body wants to be a victim. But even if we’re victims, we are the executioners too. »

I think something in the way the plot is built simply didn’t catch my attention. For the first half of the book, you ask yourself questions and everything gets really mysterious. And in the second part of the story, when you somehow expect to get some answers… It does not happen. You just need to ask yourself even more questions, and it’s only by reaching the end that you get your answers. Which is both frustrating and not very suited to keep a reader’s attention on track. It didn’t work with me. And the worst of it is the fact I didn’t even want to get my answers, because my interest have faded by diving more into the book.

The plot evolves around Shady Grove (I love this name), and her obsession for her dad’s fiddle. This is, at least, how one could interpret it. An obsession so big it turned everything else about the character into dust to me. Every single one of her decision is led by this obsession, which should not be an issue if her characterisation was on point. But I felt like nothing made sense about her, and it blurred even her main goal in the story. She wants to help her brother, fine, but she is so easily influenced by what people tell her that her mind keeps on changing about that. I felt as if her personality is made of pieces of her loved ones’ ones when the main character is supposed to be the one leading the story, not the other way around. Here, Shady Grove has a goal that she will or not fulfil. But eventually, she is not exactly the one to do so, which is rare in a story, and rarely works unless it is mastered.

I would obviously have a lot more to say about this story. Because when I don’t really like something, I like to analyse every bit of it (that is the scriptwriting student part of me) but I feel like it would take forever. So here is a little summary of things I liked and didn’t like.

Things I liked:
– The supportive characters and their development.
– The risk taken for the love triangle.
– The heart of the story and the Blue Grass representations.

Things I didn’t like:
– The story building.
– The main character development.
– How the end happens.


Discussion:

  • Have you read this book?
  • Do you have any rec with the same kind of love triangle ?

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