One of the things that has always interested me about the writing of fiction and the writing of music, is how similar the two are. I’ve heard authors talk about finding the ‘music’ in their characters and plot, and composers I’ve known talk about themes just as fiction writers do and I’ve been on a search for fiction that reads like music, and music that plays a story like fiction. The latter is easier to find.
Looking at it in this way, this book is a quartet in which each instrument carries the theme (and a solo) for one portion of the story.
Hank and Lilly were in a year-long relationship. After breaking up, they remain in touch each not quite finding fulfillment in successive partners, and they decide to form a band (though Lilly is not a musician, she is motivated). Lilly decides that they should be called The Exes, based on their previous relationship, and that everyone who joins the band should also have an ‘ex’ in the band. Hank knows of a drummer and a bassist who’d had a previous relationship, though the bassist is currently with a band that has achieved some fame and a recording contract. Fortunately for Hank and Lilly, Shazia “Shaz” Dohra isn’t looking for this sort of fame … she is looking to play music.
Shaz and her ex, Walt, join the band which starts as a fun pastime for the two, who enjoy playing music. For Hank and Lilly, it becomes a means of legitimizing the band and growing. Everyone is looking for something different, but their search brings them together in unusual ways.
Relationships, sex, music, and some very believable characters with their odd quirks makes this a really fun
score read. It moves along quickly, and yet I felt that I had gotten a good history on the characters and knew them quite well. Though barely 200 pages long (and at that, broken in to four parts) we get what we need from the author, Pagan Kennedy. I’ve read 500 page books that don’t reveal as much about the characters.
Looking for a good book? I recommend Pagan Kennedy’s The Exes.
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author: Pagan Kennedy
paperback, 208 pages