Can I tell you guys how excited I was to receive an ARC of this fabulous novel by Sarah Beard? It’s a story I’ve been looking forward to reading for quite awhile, and oh my gosh, it didn’t disappoint. It did, however, do many other things: it warmed my heart, it made me cry, it reached into my soul and tugged at every emotion possible. There is something very special about this book and its characters. When I wasn’t reading about them? I was thinking about their lives, about their brightest dreams and rawest fears, about their unbelievable tenacity and inspiring strength. Even now, after I’ve finished the book, I still find myself going back to Aria, Thomas, and the whole cast. This is a story that truly resonates well beyond its pages.
When Aria lost her mother, she lost a part of her heart. And when the grief turned her father into someone she didn’t recognize? Aria lost a whole lot more. Shut out from the world she once loved, a world where music flowed freely and her passion for playing the piano was both understood and nurtured, the notes in Aria’s life have dimmed. It isn’t until she meets Thomas, the grandson of the man who once lived next door, that a new melody starts to hum. In Thomas, Aria finds an escape, a light, a faith for the future. From the very first scene they share, their connection is palpable. It’s a love story that draws you in from the beginning, the kind that pulls you into the pages and has you rooting for the characters a hundred and ten percent. But this book is more than a love story. It’s one of happiness and heartbreak, of grief and healing, of forgiveness and redemption, of falling down and finding the courage inside yourself to stand back up.
With a musical backdrop – like her mother, Aria is an accomplished pianist who dreams of attending Julliard – it’s almost as though the reader can actually hear the tale unfolding. Sarah paints a beautiful, three-dimensional picture with her words that made me feel like I was right there with Aria, whether she was fleeing through an orchard in Colorado, performing on a vast stage in Europe, or seeking shelter in a treehouse that, both literally and figuratively, gave her a glimpse of the most glittering stars. And it didn’t stop there, because the supporting cast is just as dynamic. Aria’s piano teacher Nathaniel, her neighbor Vivian, her college boyfriend Devin – they are all wonderful in their own way, and it was fascinating to see how each played an important role in shaping her life. Then, of course, there’s Thomas. Thomas, who seals the cracks in Aria’s heart, but also chips some new ones at the same time. Thomas, who has haunting secrets of his own. Thomas and Aria both, who remind us that it’s okay to have scars – because maybe, just maybe, they’re proof of how far we’ve come and how far we can go.
And now … I’m really excited to be able to offer a giveaway for an eBook copy (via Amazon) of PORCELAIN KEYS. To enter, leave a comment – by Tuesday March 4th – telling me: if you could play any musical instrument, what would it be? Good luck!