Book Review: The Rising Star of Rusty Nail

The Rising Star of Rusty Nail by Lesley M.M. Blume
The Rising Star of Rusty Nail
by Lesley M.M. Blume

3 out of 5 stars

Franny is a piano prodigy in a backwards country town. When a mysterious Russian musician arrives in town, Franny begs her to teach piano lessons.

I was not impressed with this book. As a piano teacher myself, I was hoping for something more, but it was pretty basic. Most of the book is about the townspeople and their little country lives. It’s supposed to be funny, but I wasn’t laughing. I was annoyed with the ignorant people. I didn’t like any of the characters. The children are all brats. The adults are all incompetent. The characters are one-dimensional. The writing is good, but not amazing.
I mostly skimmed through the book until I got to a scene about music as Franny has a piano lesson or plays in a piano competition. Even then, it was nothing special. There are maybe three good lines about being inspired by music, and finding the talent inside your soul. I liked those three lines, and the rest of the book is boring.

Maybe if I had read this as a young pianist, I would have enjoyed it more. As a seasoned musician with 30 years of experience at the piano, it’s barely even interesting.

Actually, I felt like the Russian teacher character. She is bored with the small town. She is frustrated with the ignorant adults. She is annoyed with the bratty kids. But she recognizes a small glimmer of music in this grubby little country girl, like the three barely interesting lines in a book. A blip on the radar of music barely worth noticing, but you might as well take a look.

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