I am so pleased to offer a RAVE review for Rhythm: A Novel by talented writer and exceptional musician, Robin Meloy Goldsby. Having first read an excerpt from this work during the Amazon.com Shorts contest in early 2008, I knew it was something I would eagerly read in its entirety. Unwilling to put it down from the minute I opened it, this book not only didn't disappoint, but it also exceeded my expectations for three distinct reasons: Lyrical prose, extremely well-drawn characters--both primary and secondary--and a captivating story.
This is the story of Jane--"Jane Bowman, drums." We meet her at an early age and find her instantly loveable and sympathetic. She is the daughter of a famous percussionist, Helen Bowman, (a "heavy-hitting, Latin-jazz `congera' ") and a notorious grandmother, Isabella, known as the "Mistress of Mambo." Drums are in Jane's blood. Appropriately titled, Rhythm, the beat of this story is instantly apparent: It's the beat of Jane's heart as she makes her way through life after tragically losing her mother in a nightclub fire.
Goldsby, an accomplished pianist and recording artist, is also the author of a wonderful memoir, Piano Girl. For her novel, she has done her research. You'll have a front row seat for the jazzy undertones in the language--so much that you may even be able to hear the tunes as you read. Comical background characters like Mary One and Mary Two, along with Jane's best friend Leo, keep Jane real. Her father and Grandpa Jack offer loving support and then there's also Olivia Blue. When her story comes to the forefront it brought me to tears.
Well done, well done, well done. Five stars all the way and I highly recommend this work. Goldsby's CDs, Songs From the Castle, Twilight, and Somewhere in Time are all available for purchase and your listening pleasure.