Book reviews are subjective. I tend to rate books not according to how “perfect” they are, seem to be, or are said to be in general but rather to how perfect they are to me.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
(Click the title to find the book description/blurb.)
What could she say to that? That being ripped away from her best friend, from this island, had unraveled her? That she’d wanted to return a thousand times?… It’s not your fault, James.
Aria knows the secret of the elusive Secret Symphony of her father, a renowned composer. Now that he’s reaching the end of his life, Aria wants to give him one final gift. But it will take enlisting the help of the blacksmith and childhood friend she lost, James, in Bespoke: A Tiny Christmas Tale by author Amanda Dykes.
I didn’t know what to expect of this new-to-me author or what to expect of this novella. I’d skimmed the blurb that I somehow suspected might only be a hazy tip of a substantive iceberg, but instead of trying to decipher it, I just opened the book and went for it.
And I was drawn into a mystery of sorts, one that gradually, quietly unfolds through the book. There’s such an aching beauty to this story, a story that, wisely, doesn’t feel it has to spell everything out for the reader. It’s tragic. Poignant. Intensely romantic. Redemptive and hopeful. And for someone like me who adores it when the art of music and the art of literature come together, the musical quality to the storytelling here is quite compelling.
I may appreciate this book the more for having experienced it at the most wonderful time of the year. But it’s not at all a tale I’d recommend confining to Christmastime.