After her mother died, Glory retreated into herself and her music. Her single father raised her as a piano prodigy, with a rigid schedule and the goal of playing sold-out shows across the globe. Now, as a teenager, Glory has disappeared. As we flash back to the events leading up to her disappearance, we see a girl on the precipice of disaster. Brilliant and lonely, Glory is drawn to an artistic new boy, Frank, who moves in next door. The farther she falls, the deeper she spirals into madness. Before long, Glory is unable to play anything but the song "Chopsticks."
But nothing is what it seems, and Glory's reality is not reality at all. In this stunningly moving novel told in photographs, pictures, and words, it's up to the reader to decide what is real, what is imagined, and what has been madness all along...
This is an unusual and unique book in that there are hardly any words in it and it is very much down to the reader to decide what's happening and how it ends. Told visually and almost like a scrap book of Glory and Frank's relationship you are invited into their romance and their past and you are left to piece together the story and work out how YOU think it unfolds and what happens in the end. A really smart and interesting way of story telling that I had to agree to review it just to see what it was all about and how a book like this would work for me as an avid reader. Well I loved it but I'll explain why it worked for me otherwise this would be a really short review.
Similar to the images from PostSecret (a wonderful sharing idea run by Frank Warren) Chopsticks is about the opening up without even saying anything. We get to see inside the life of a broken girl who lost her mother and now is under pressure to perform as a top pianist and how her life changes when she meets a boy. Frank comes from a seemingly lower classed background but a strong family and meeting Glory and falling in love changes the direction of his life as he becomes focused on her and being together.
I blitzed through this in one sitting as it is a quick read but no less moving then any other standard book on the market. You can tell a lot about people from a snap shot into their life and it's what's left unsaid that is more powerful then a few words. The story isn't without it's twists and it's the slow unfolding of these that are all the more shocking as you see them appear in front of your eyes and take in what they all mean. You piece together the puzzle and the picture isn't always pretty but it's honest.
A new way of storytelling that makes the power of imagination a mighty thing.
Published by Razorbill and is available here and bookshops now