Blue Notes

Blue Notes - Carrie Lofty This novel started with a great hook revealing a teenage Rosie Nyman on the stand testifying against her father accused of murdering her mother. It is a well-orchestrated powerful scene and the outcome of the trial results in “Rosie” stepping into a new life as Keeley Chambers, the much loved daughter of foster parents who deal with her significant emotional problems and nurture her gift. Keeley is a piano prodigy.

When next we see Keeley, she is a 21-year-old attending Tulane on a fellowship. She describes how her music provides a refuge from the trauma of her childhood with her abusive biological parents (what happened to Keeley is heartrending). She composes spontaneously, producing beautiful pieces. I was completely invested in Keeley’s story until hero Jude Villars enters the picture. I couldn’t help but agree with Keeley in her description of Jude as arrogant, I also found him condescending and petulant. While it’s recognized Jude has his own issues, I didn’t feel it excused his insensitivity toward Keeley. I got that she is infatuated with Jude and the virginal Keeley has boinking on the mind, but given his behavior I couldn’t buy that she would accept him into her life. Essentially, I saw the guy as a jerk.

I did like Keeley’s foster parents Clair and John Chambers, and her roommate Janey, who I saw as well formed secondary characters.

Blue Notes is one of those books I wanted to like but after laboring through half the narrative I finally abandoned the story at 70%.