Wednesday 4 February 2015

LIVING BY EAR by Mary Rowen

5 out of 5 stars 

Contemporary drama, romance, music 

On Amazon UK HERE

I'd never come across Mary Rowen before but I read a very interesting interview with her on A Woman's Wisdom blog, which you can see HERE , thought this book looked good and downloaded it straight away.  I had a quick look at it to see what it was like, thinking I'd get to it at some point over the next couple of months - but I just kept reading it!

Ms Rowen is a terrific writer, so talented.  I loved every bit of this, there were no boring bits to skip read, no sections that sounded a bit contrived or unfeasible, and it all just flowed, so smoothly.  I love books about the music industry by people who know what they're talking about, and I was certainly not disappointed by this.  Chris Daley is a rainbow haired, freedom loving busker in the early 1990s who ends up married to a successful Boston lawyer, Jon, along with the whole suburbia and two kids bit.  She still hankers after her old life, though, and her old musician boyfriend, Curt.  We first meet her during her divorce from Jon, and the story is built up by flicking back and forth from present to past, a structure that always works for me.  Another thing I liked about this book was that it wasn't predictable; there were a couple of plot developments I guessed but more I didn't, and even at 80% I still hadn't got a clue how it was going to end up!

Don't know who this is, but she made me think a bit of Chris!

Chris Daley is a very 'real' character - very occasionally she got on my nerves (she seemed to be under the impression that it was all about HER at some points, and I felt sympathy for Jon), and at times I wanted to shake her because she couldn't get a grip and do the best thing for herself, but on the whole I liked her and felt I would have got on with her.

I'm so glad I found this, by a chance read of a blog post!  I shall certainly be getting Ms Rowen's other novel at some point in the not too distant future.  I'd recommend it to anyone who likes to read about musicians, but you don't need to have any knowledge of or interest in music to enjoy it as much as I did; essentially, it's just a contemporary drama about family, love, disappointments, hopes and dreams.  Well done, Mary, I hope you're really proud of this - and nice one, too, for the two mentions of Aerosmith, but I suppose in a music orientated novel set in Boston this is bound to occur!


  1. Wow, Terry, thank you for this fabulous review! I'm so glad you liked the story and am honored by your kind words!

    1. You're welcome, the pleasure was mine! The review is on both Amazons and Goodreads too :)

  2. Thanks for the link, Terry! Great book and enjoyed it myself too :-)