The blurb reads
Paige is a rock star. The world just doesn’t know it yet. She’s got the charisma, the drive, and, of course, the mega-musical skills. All she needs is to make her debut album, one that will change the world, inspire revolutions–and make her galactically famous along the way.
When John Bustin, a former semi-famous singer/songwriter offers to record Paige’s album for free, it feels like destiny, like the next step on her way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Guitar in hand, Paige sets off to John’s recording compound, ready to unfold her future.
But the ever-elusive John, with his mysterious history, and Paige, a big dreamer but naive about her footing in life, clash as much as they coalesce. Before they can change the world through Paige’s music, the improbable duo must learn to work together.
A coming of age story and retrospective, The Big Wide Calm focuses on human nature and the complexities of love through the eyes of young and old on the journey of creating the perfect album
The book starts off with Paige making her way to John Bustin’s house, a songwriter/singer of the yesteryears. John has an agreement where he gets Paige to stay with him for 1 year and cut out an album.
The book follows Paige’s transition from becoming a talented player to actually working towards it, in terms of finding a producer and then the various experiences she has on the way.
There were several high and low points in this book. Paige as a character tended to evoke mixed emotions from me. I felt her language and her thoughts were a little too naive sometimes. Also sometimes her ambition came off as being arrogance and over-confidence. But then I gave her some leeway and then figured if you are someone in the art, you need to love yourself.
Part Spoilers Ahead!!!**************
The character of John confused me at times. I felt he was a mentor but also, I was conflicted about his personal life and I didn’t appreciate that little bit of a track where the inevitable happened (=Easy enough to guess, classic M&B fodder). I also felt sometimes, that the conversations didn’t tend to be meaningful and were superfluous.
I didn’t really connect with the part where the songs were supposed to be changing the world. I’m not musical and I really didn’t get how one person’s songs could change the world. The lyrics were amazing but it didn’t touch me. I was also confused about the frequent uses of The Big Wide Calm. I didn’t understand that meaning and there wasn’t any philosophical pick off to make me understand.
I enjoyed the end. There was a closure to it. I also appreciated Paige taking matters into her own hands. And that she found herself ready to take the next few steps into the world. It left me with butterflies in my stomach, I felt excited for Paige and I appreciated it.
What I loved about the book was the fact that Paige was tough. Maybe she was arrogant but she did not take any drama and a bucketload of rubbish from anyone. I loved that.
I loved the bit of food that they explored and also how the town was made so homely and believable. Also, how Paige’s creativity sparked off when she was in solitude. I appreciated that.
This book gave me an insight into the lives of Songwriters and made me appreciate that a lot lot more!
My Rating: 3/5