Mystery Mondays is a sometimes weekly, sometimes biweekly and sometimes monthly review feature here on Words of Mystery that showcases books in the mystery (and on occasion thriller) genre that we are currently reading and our thoughts on them. Feel free to comment and leave suggestions as to what we should read and review next.
Advance Reader Copy, 444 pages
March 25th 2014
Received from publisher in exchange for an honest review.
When I first heard about and read the synopsis for Frog Music by Emma Donoghue I was super intrigued and excited for it. The story is one based off of the real life, unsolved murder of Jenny, who is a cross dressing frog catcher. In Emma Donoghue’s story, Jenny’s friend, Blanche is determined to get justice for her friend and so the story is one that follows her journey to do so as well it contains countless flashbacks to when Jenny was still alive, to show readers the complicated relationship she and Blanche had.
The beginning of the novel starts off in a very haunting way that carries itself throughout the rest of the book. I loved how the music of the time plays such a major role in the story because it truly brings the story and characters to life. Yet in spite of that and in spite of the fact that I wanted so much to love this book, I found that I couldn’t connect to the story or the characters. And though I did feel sorry for Blanche, I felt she was to blame for many of her predicaments. Also the plot felt way too dragged out, and I wasn’t crazy about the constant switching back and forth between before and after Jenny’s death as they often occurred with very little warning which left me feeling confused much of the time. In addition, I kind of wished there was more focus on the mystery aspects of the story.
Although I didn’t love Frog Music, I did think it a very well researched novel with much potential. Also I definitely enjoyed the research and background notes regarding the various songs featured in the book. In addition, I appreciated the fact that there was a glossary at the back of the book which contained the English translations of the French words used by some of the characters in the book very helpful as some of the phrases and words they used were unfamiliar to me.
On a final note, the book trailer for Frog Music is amazing, check it out here if you’re curious.
If you like this book, you’ll love: Quiet Dell: A Novel by Jayne Anne Phillips
Regardless of how this book came into my possession, the above review consists of my honest opinion of the book and my opinion only.