The Melody of Light by ML Rice is a young adult novel. It is the story of two siblings, Riley and Aiden. Their parents die when they are very young and they end up living with their abusive uncle and aunt. The aunt and uncle then die in a house fire and the siblings are sent to a group home. Here she is taught to play the cello which becomes a way to express her feelings and find freedom in a life that she often struggles with.
The Melody of Light is predominantly about Riley’s first year at university, the characters she meets, the feelings she develops and the roommate she has to put up with. Riley’s story is underpinned by the fact that she is a gifted musician and a social outcast. Rice is obviously passionate about music and manages to describe the beauty of music quite eloquently throughout the novel.
The bond between the siblings is strong and Aiden feels responsible for ensuring a life for his sister. While Riley is at university Aiden chooses a career in the military to give her opportunities that he didn’t have.
ML Rice writes well. Her story moves along at a good pace and she builds memorable characters.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book up until the last couple of chapters. At this point my reading was somewhat obscured by the tears running down my face and the tissues blocking my view.
This is a young adult novel so you can’t expect overly complex characters. The characters were well written and clear. I enjoyed reading about Riley and wanted to give the girl a hug and tell her that it would all work out in the end.
The Writing Style
The story is well paced and nicely constructed. Rice writes well.
The story is quite beautiful. I like the underdog characters and the way they rise out of the worst possible circumstances. There are also a range of side characters that make the story feel really fulfilling.
I am not sure that the sad end part was needed. I think the book would have still been a good book without the sad part. Having said that, I would have probably loved it as a teen, when the world seemed so much better with tragedy in it. Now that I am an old fart and I like happy endings. I think if I had gone into it knowing that it was going to have a really sad part then I would have been more prepared.
This is a good read and I recommend it. Just be prepared for a sad part and sit back and enjoy as the story unfolds. Rice writes well, the story is compelling and it is an easy read. This is especially brilliant if you enjoy the emotional rollercoaster sort of read.
Excerpt from The Melody of Light by ML Rice
Miss Geddis wasn’t a learned musician on each instrument, but she got the point of each one across with ease. Each was interesting and beautiful, but it wasn’t until she saw and heard the cello that Riley’s heart melted. The sound was mellow and deep and it pierced her heart with each movement of the bow across the strings. What she heard when it played seemed to echo the exact emotions that had been burning in her chest for years. As each note filled the air, Riley could feel an almost purifying cleansing throughout her whole body. She realized that her eyes had filled with tears as the woman played. The cello was Miss Geddis’s primary instrument, and she made it sing. Riley knew exactly what she wanted.
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Bits and Bobs:
ISBN number: 9781626392199
Publisher: Bold Strokes Books