How would you respond if your job was eliminated because of budget cuts and with it, your passion?
That's what happened to Lucy, elementary music teacher, when the school board cut the music and art programs. Ruchti has given us a sensitive inside look at how Lucy's life was changed forever.
A reading group would have a lively discussion with this book. There are a number of thought provoking issues and insights in this novel that beg for discussion. There's a good discussion guide included to help.
A major issue is the role of music in the lives of children. Lucy saw children changed by their exposure to music. Some came to understand music as a means of expressing emotions while others embraced its power to communicate. Some found they could push themselves beyond a limit they had assumed for themselves. Lucy was able to touch the hearts of students others had labeled unreachable.
Another issue involves husband wife relationships, especially at retirement. Lucy's husband, Charlie, had an entirely different idea of retirement from Lucy's. That made for some interesting discussions between the two, including some well crafted dialog.
Perhaps the major issue coming through in this novel is that of the musical rest, the silence. We learn that the rests are important. Without them the notes would be much less meaningful. That is applied to life as well. We may need to rest in silence, perhaps to hear the still small voice of God. For a passionate person like Lucy, that was a hard lesson to learn.
There are many other issues in the novel too. There is the role of music therapy being used with children of special needs. How we deal with disappointments is a big part of this novel. Also, how we might react when an adult child moves back into the home (with a spouse and child, no less). We learn of the importance of speaking the truth, the whole truth, to others. We become painfully aware of the courage it takes to wait for the next place in God's plan.
I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy a novel driven by character development. Like me, you may be initially frustrated with Charlie, a husband who thinks he knows what his wife needs better than she does. But in the end, well, you have to read the novel. Perhaps you will identify with Lucy, at a loss when what has given her life meaning for nearly twenty years is ripped away from her, years from retirement. You'll have much to think about as you read this novel.
I am taking part in a blog tour of this book and you can read other reviews here.
My rating: 5/5 stars.
Cynthia Ruchti is the award winning author of seventeen books and is a frequent speaker for women's ministry events. She and her husband live in Central Wisconsin. You can find out more at http://www.cynthiaruchti.com/.
Abingdon Press, 320 pages. You can buy a copy here.
I received a complimentary egalley of this book through Litfuse for the purpose of an independent and honest review.