Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Piano from a 4th Storey Window by @jmortonpotts #bookreview

Today’s team review comes from Alison she blogs at alisonwilliamswriting.wordpress.com

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Alison chose to read and review Piano from a 4th storey window by Jenny Morton Potts

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‘Piano from a Fourth Storey Window’ by Jenny Morton Potts

Set in Brighton, this lovely, beautifully written, at times funny novel tells the story of the romance between eccentric bookshop owner Lawrence Fyre and teacher and ex-Jehovah’s Witness Marin Strang.

The title of this novel is from a song lyric – ‘love is a piano dropped from a fourth storey window and you were in the wrong place at the wrong time.’ The quirky title is spot on for a quirky read although Marin is the right place at the right time when she meets Lawrence.

Their relationship is the backbone of this story and it’s unusual because they are unusual. Their relationship is touching in its honesty, in its realistic ups and downs, its misunderstandings and its genuine warmth. I like Lawrence and Marin immensely, and the parts of the book that gave detail and insight into their pasts were, for me, the most enjoyable aspects of this novel. Lawrence’s relationship with his sister is brilliantly portrayed and is really touching to read, as is Marin’s strained relationship with her father.

There were, however, some aspects that I was less keen on. Lawrence’s imaginary audience, the ‘ladies and gentlemen’, didn’t really work for me and neither did the imaginary servant ‘Lolita’. The sections involving these characters were rather drawn out and didn’t add much to the story – it’s quite a long novel and I felt that these sections were unnecessary and could have been cut.

I also felt that some of the minor characters weren’t fleshed out enough and verged on the stereotypical.

The author also switched tenses a great deal. I wasn’t sure if this was stylistic or a mistake – if it was stylistic, then it really didn’t work for me.

That aside, this was, on the whole, an enjoyable read – and one that I’d recommend.

Four out of five stars

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com

 

 

 

Rosie’s Book Review Team #RBRT Liz reviews Piano from a 4th Storey Window by @jmortonpotts

Today’s team review comes from Liz, she blogs at https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/

Rosie's Book Review team 1

Liz chose to read and review Piano from a 4th Storey Window by Jenny M Potts.

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Piano from a 4th storey window by Jenny Morton Potts

 

Lawrence Fyre is a flamboyant optimist, running a book shop in the Lanes in Brighton called “Sargasso Sea.” Marin Strang, a shy but self-composed teacher of Spanish, was brought up as a Jehovah’s Witness but now she appears to be running away, not just from her father but also from life itself, as she flits from one temporary job to another. And then she comes across Laurence. At her instigation, they start a relationship which goes through twists and turns and ups and downs as fate, family and circumstance impinge on their time together.

 

This intriguing story is written mostly as a stream of consciousness in the form of thoughts, emails, memories, conversations and dreams. There is enough narrative to follow the novel but some concepts such as the imaginary servant, Lolita and “The Ladies and Gentleman” who watch, applaud & disapprove of Lawrie’s actions are difficult to fathom.

 

The title of this novel, taken from Ani Difranco’s song, “And love is a piano dropped from a fourth storey window and you were in the wrong place at the wrong time,” is a good metaphor for the events that occur. All life is described; love-making, death, tragedy, humour, modern technology, dysfunctional families and friendship. The tongue in cheek humour between Marin and Lawrence makes their love for each other much more believable than the technical accuracies of their sex life.

 

This is not an easy book to get into. At first I saw Lawrence as a much older man than Marin, due to his eccentricity, but later I began to think I was wrong. As a reader you find yourself lost in Marin’s feelings of worthlessness. There are many different characters to understand from their large group of friends in Brighton and later we meet Lawrie’s extended family in the Orkneys. His nephew Cyrus, possibly aspergic, is remarkably amenable to major life changes while Marin copes with her loneliness by composing unsent emails.

 

If you make the effort to come to grips with this extraordinary relationship and the way the tale is expounded it is a rewarding read, although like me, you may have to go back to re-read some parts of the text.

Find a copy here from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com