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The Song Reader

Tucker, Lisa

2,257 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0743464451 / ISBN 13: 9780743464451
Published by Downtown Pr, Simon & Schuster, Riverside, New Jersey, U.S.A., 2003
New Condition: New Soft cover
From Flash Books (Audubon, NJ, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

SIGNED on Title page. 1st Printing-Full # Line. New copy. Never read. Trade paperback. BEAUTIFUL copy of book and cover. COLLECTOR'S COPY. Bookseller Inventory # 001048

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Song Reader

Publisher: Downtown Pr, Simon & Schuster, Riverside, New Jersey, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 2003

Binding: Soft cover

Book Condition:New

Dust Jacket Condition: New

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

About this title

Synopsis:

She can hear the music in peoples' souls.
Mary Beth and her younger sister Leeann are trying to support themselves in their small Southern hometown. So Mary Beth works to make ends meet by practicing her own unique talent: "song reading." By making sense of the song lyrics people have stuck in their heads, Mary Beth can help people make sense of their lives. In no time, Mary Beth's readings have the entire town singing her praises, including the handsome scientist Ben, who falls hard for Mary Beth and her unearthly intuition.

What happens when she can't make out the lyrics?
When Mary Beth reveals a long-muted secret in the community, however, she turns off the music and gives up song reading for good. Soon everyone's lives are out of tune: Leeann worries she'll never graduate from high school, and Ben can't conduct his experiments. Without Mary Beth's music the town's silence is louder than ever. Could it be that all the lyrics to all those foolish love songs really aren't so foolish after all?

Review:

Two sisters, Leeann and Mary Beth, have the debut novel The Song Reader firmly in their grip. Author Lisa Tucker seems almost entranced by her main characters, a teenager and her older sister whose mother is dead and father has disappeared. They've put together a cheery and eccentric life in their small midwestern hometown. Mary Beth--beautiful, empathetic and smart--practices an art she calls song reading. Clients come to her and tell her the songs that are stuck in their head, and she decodes the song to help them with their problems. Says her little sister Leeann, the novel's narrator: "She could take a customer who had all kinds of problems--poverty and family quarrels and lost love and even illness--and point her finger at the one thing that, if they found it and dealt with it, would give them the strength to handle all the rest." Leeann sees Mary Beth's song reading--and everything else about her sister--as admirable and glorious. But Mary Beth's gift leads her to a secret truth about a prominent neighbor, and the fragile structure of the girls' orphaned life comes tumbling down. Each secret seems to domino another until the sisters' whole complex emotional history is laid bare. The Song Reader can be a little willfully twee with its wacky characters and unlikely scenarios, but Tucker has so thoroughly imagined her protagonists' psychological workings that the book exerts an undeniable pull. --Claire Dederer

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