This post was Not In My Plan for this week. My carefully constructed plan of what to post when, in a nice pattern, on a regular schedule, constructed (and written) around my current batch of nightshifts. Then I started reading Unfinished Symphony of You and Me on my dinner break at 3.45am on Wednesday morning. And I’ve just finished it (it’s Saturday afternoon at the moment, but it’ll be Sunday when this publishes, because I can’t let go of the plan so much I post twice on the same day!) and it was too good for me to just add it to the books read list this week and say how much I’d enjoyed it.
I really loved this. I laughed, I cried, I couldn’t wait to find out what happened – but I didn’t want it to be over at the same time. I’m kicking myself for not reading it sooner.
Lucy Robinson’s created a fabulous cast of characters and a heart-wrenchingly brilliant story that shows you the importance of living your life, taking control and following your dream and not waiting for someone* to sort it out for you.
I loved crazy, messed-up Sally’s journey to find herself as she takes her courage in her hands and faces her fears. I was desperate to find out what had happened that summer in New York to turn her from the mousy wardrobe mistress into a student opera singer. And I didn’t get too grumpy at the reveal being dragged out, once I finally found out what had happened and how totally ingenious it was. There were a couple of points where I could see the car crash (metaphorically) coming and wanted to scream with frustration at Sally for being so stupid – but then it was so brilliantly done in the end that I Didn’t Mind**.
I don’t want to say too much else about the plot, because it’s another book where it would be all too easy for me to ruin it for everyone who hasn’t read this yet (go and buy it). I will say though that Barry is my favourite mad housemate since Bing in Bernadette Strachan’s Reluctant Landlady. And that’s saying something.
This is a perfect summer read. Although if you read it at the beach, people may point at you when you start crying (I held out until nearly the end, which is surprising considering that post-nightshifts I get incredibly emotional). And, of course, my idiocy means I’m reviewing it too late in August for many people who, unlike me, have already had their summer holiday.
Still, recapture that holiday reading feeling and go and buy yourself a copy of Unfinished Symphony of You and Me. My copy came from Netgalley (in return for an honest review etc) but you can find it here, here, here and here (on Kindle) and I hope still in W H Smith and maybe even the supermarkets too. So really you have no excuse. I’m off book some tickets to the opera and to add everything else Lucy Robinson has written to my to-read list – and to try to resist the urge to Buy Them Now (because of that pesky backlog I’m trying to deal with). Go. Buy. Read. Enjoy.
Oh dear. I think this may be another of my overly emotional crazy posts. Like my moment over the first part of Harriet Evan’s new book. This is why I plan things so I don’t have to be coherent on here during my nocturnal moments.
* A man
** And when you consider that I can barely read one of my formerly most read books any more because I’m so angry at the way that the third book in the series turned out, you’ll know that that’s a big deal.