The Saints of Swallow by Suzzy Roche
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This book has so much going on that it should have been longer - there's the music part, the recovery part, the faith part and the family part and all are done well, but I just wish we could have had more of each.
There's a band, Sliced Ham, that was an alternative/grunge/punk type band, with relatively obscure lyrics and a lead singer who wears ripped stockings and combat boots. That part of Mary Saint's life ends when her friend/lover/bassist Garbagio (aka Anthony Calabrese, from a small town near to hers) dies. Then there's her recovery, coming to terms with her past and her music and her life - and her faith. Both collide when she's asked to do a solo concert at her old high school. This isn't just Mary's story, though, it's also her mother Jean's, and how Jean's life in Swallow has unfolded since Mary left years before.
There are some interesting questions about faith raised here, and not nearly enough time spent on them (particularly at the end). What family is and means, and what fame is and means is also explored. Since the author is a member of The Roches, it's clear that she's writing from experience, albeit in a different genre than her folk music roots.
This will definitely appeal to those that question fitting in and how to survive their teens, let alone their early adulthood, with some sense of sanity intact. It may also appeal to alternative music lovers, although we're more in the group's aftermath than spending time with the group itself.
ARC provided by publisher.