A Cello With a Soul? – Review of “Everything You Are” by Kerry Anne King

An emotional roller coaster ride.

As a music lover who lacks even a scrap of musical talent I was intrigued by the premise of a novel about a cello with a soul and the people connected to the instrument. The cellists are Braden Healey and his seventeen year old daughter Allie. Phee (Ophelia MacPhee) is the luthier whose late grandfather built the cello and told her the instrument carried a curse that would cause harm to the owner if it wasn’t played. Indeed Braden’s hands were damaged and he hasn’t been able to play for eleven years. In that span of time he fell into alcoholism, lost his memory, and subsequently lost his wife and two children in a divorce. He returns home to care for Allie when his wife and young son are killed in an auto accident. In her grief, Allie is belligerent, argumentative and generally acting out. Braden is bewildered and looking for an excuse to drown his sorrows. Phee has been secretly in love with him for years and desperately wants to help him heal his relationship with Allie, recover his memory and perhaps even play again. But her scheme could go horribly wrong and cause more misery and possibly even permanent harm. Do miracles really happen? Because that’s what it may take to make them whole again.

“Everything You Are” is an emotional roller coaster ride; full of ups and downs, sharp turns and wild curves that leave you feeling as if you’re about to lose your lunch. But it’s also a story of hope, healing, forgiveness, redemption and yes, love – the parental kind and the love between a man and a woman. Kerry Anne King has penned a beautifully written story about all the emotions that make us human. I devoured this in one sitting, only stopping when absolutely necessary. But I didn’t want it to be over either because by the end of the story the characters were like old friends. My only complaint is the denouement and subsequent ending were rushed – too little, too fast. Four and a half stars.

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