Murphy dazzles, creating unique perspectives from Scarlet, Blue, and Henry, plus a flash forward to Blue’s life as a concert pianist years after the murder. This novel will leave readers questioning what is real and how mental health can affect generations in kaleidoscopic ways. Murphy also explores the way art and music collide, bringing mother and daughter together through their passions. The subject matter and luminous writing will appeal to fans of Violaine Huisman’s The Book of Mother (2021), while those who enjoy a plot-driven mystery will also find what they are looking for.
While the twists at the end are not needed and somewhat spoil what comes before it, this novel from Murphy is ultimately a love story between a mother and a daughter as well as an examination of how trauma shapes our lives and choices. Recommended for larger fiction collections.
... convoluted ... Murphy keeps up the momentum and tension through the first two acts, which read mostly as the darkness-tinged coming-of-age tale of an artist with a sick mother. Unfortunately, the story goes completely off the rails with one ridiculous twist after another as Blue leaves town for the piano contest and Scarlet sets in motion a dangerous plan. What could have been an appealing bildungsroman is sunk by a failed thriller plot.