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String Bridge Paperback – November 1, 2011
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Everything We Keep: A Novel
On the day of her wedding, she buried her fiancé—and unearthed shocking secrets. Learn More
"Jessica Bell paints a claustrophobic vision of life where domesticity becomes a ever-diminishing prison cell. With gripping prose and terse dialogue, String Bridge is a powerful debut novel from a very talented writer." ~Talli Roland, bestselling author of The Hating Game and Build a Man
About the Author
Being the daughter of a semi-famous rock 'n' roll duo from Melbourne, she grew up surrounded by song. For a while it seemed logical to travel the musician's path, especially when her first band, spAnk, hit it off in the Melbourne indie music scene back in the late 90s. Although she spent her years writing and recording dozens of songs she decided she also had a love for the written word, and began to pursue a career as a writer.
Visit her website for a full list of published works.
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Top Customer Reviews
I would've liked it so much more if it wasn't so centered on Melody's thoughts about every little thing she encountered. I felt like I was slowly going mad, right along with Melody. To that end, that is why I gave this BOOK 2 stars, instead of 1.... The writer IS a good writer, it is just that what she chose to write about was not for me.
When the author was not rambling about Melody, I was enraptured with her way of speech and description.
I wanted to know more about every single character, except Melody and Tessa. Tessa is Melody's daughter and there was good character development for both Melody and Tessa. The other main characters, her husband Alex and Melody's mother and father, could've used a lot more fleshing out, as they were interesting to me.
The ending was abrupt and I was completely floored by that, beCAUSE of how detail-oriented the writer had been about so many other things Melody went through.
(Are there any books out there with satisfying endings, anymore?)
Familial love, marital drudgery, long suppressed dreams - Jessica Bell brings it all in and questions it all. What really is more important?
The writing is awe-inspiring. It's easy to see that she's a poet. Don't get me wrong. There's no floweriness. Bell's writing hits hard and yet there's an underlying musical cadence to it.
I was so surprised with this book. I'm a YA book whore. So much so that other genres often get neglected. But reading this reminded me how much I love a good women's fiction. And this wasn't just good. It was effing brilliant.
Bell picks at the nuances of life. The little things magnified. She isn't afraid to mention things that often go unmentioned. Like, sometimes getting irritated with the demands of the daughter you love so much that you'd wish she'd shut up. Or feeling jealous when you see her smiling with her father. Or wanting to throw utensils at your husband like a stark raving lunatic even though he's not really the villain you think of him to be. Or make him out to be. Emotions run high here, so high they spiral into cracks in the main character, Melody's life and her relationships with the people around her.
The author deftly paints relationships like she is really exhibiting the pages out of the tormented mind of a woman trying to find an identity for herself beyond being a mother and a wife.Read more ›
It's not just the heavy handed metaphors that detract from the story. The author uses italics often to display emphasis. Not only does the effect of emphasis get lost, it's rather an insult to the reader to assume we can't figure out what words should be emphasized. This device should be used judiciously, not generously. The effect here is that everyone sounds like a Valley girl. And I do mean everyone. The characters all sound the same, except for the 4-year old daughter, Tessa, who only sounds precocious.
On the subject of Tessa--Melody goes on all the time about how much her daughter means to her, but Melody doesn't seem to spend a lot of time with Tessa. She just does a lot of angsting about her parenting ability.
Melody doesn't seem to spend much time working either. She has a full-time job but she comes in late, goes on extended coffee breaks with her friend Heather, pretends to be working when she's actually at her desk, and frequently leaves early.
The characters overall are not sympathetic. I was starting to hate Melody. She came off as selfish and childish. Her husband wasn't much better. The depiction of her mother's bipolar disorder wasn't believable; I have personal experience of this disorder. The most believable, sympathetic characters are the minor supporting ones.
I gave the book 2 stars instead of one because the story line was just interesting and unpredictable enough to keep me going.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
String Bridge is the story of a musician-turned mother, and her struggle to maintain a balance between her work as an editor and
her role as a mother and wife. Read more
The book was easy to follow and flowed well. Kept me looking forward to the next time I was able to pick up the book. A life's journey one can relate to.Published 15 months ago by Fourpaws4me
Let me start this review by saying this book resonated with me hard, from the moment I picked it up. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Nerine Dorman
A gripping and intense story which pulls you in and takes you on a rollercoaster ride of highs and lows.
It's gritty. It's in-your-face. The writing is honest and direct. Read more
This is the first novel I've read by Jessica Bell, but I've read and enjoyed some of her poetry and also her non-fiction books about writing, so I was already tuned in for her... Read morePublished on July 9, 2014 by Debbie Young
Really liked the truth of emotion of Melody as she shared her thoughts throughout her difficult marriage and life. Read morePublished on March 18, 2014 by DragonOne
Jessica Bell shares with the world what some mothers and wives struggle to deal with. Having been married for ten years and the mom of a 17, 9, and 5 year old, it is refreshingly... Read morePublished on March 8, 2014 by Bishop Family
Although I did not always like what was going on in Melody's mind ( yes, I did find her to be selfish and shallow at times)I had a difficult time putting the book down. Read morePublished on February 27, 2014 by alisa vulliet