I recently had the opportunity to read a novel, Song of Renewal by Emily Sue Harvey, for review. Song of Renewal is a beautifully written story and more than once I found myself reaching for a tissue as the plot unfolded (and I didn’t have the excuse of pregnancy hormones this time!).
The three main characters in Song of Renewal are the members of a family of three. First is Garrison, the father, who is a graphic artist who gave up his dreams of being a painter to make commercial art to support his family. Liza, the mother, is a beautiful dancer who unknowingly places a huge amount of pressure on her daughter to live out her dreams. Lastly there is Angel, the daughter, who feels that her father, who is very caught up in his work, doesn’t love her and who has developed an eating disorder as she attempts to live up to her mother’s dreams of being the perfect ballerina.
At the start of the story the family is drifting apart, headed off on their own separate trajectories when tragedy strikes. Angel spends much of the book in a coma. Her parents must overcome years of hurt to rekindle the love that they need to survive their daughter’s accident and begin to rediscover their own individual passions along the way.
There is a huge amount of character development in this story as the characters struggle to come to terms with what has happened, both as a result of the accident and before the accident. Even the lesser characters grow as the story unfolds.
I haven’t had very much time to read novels in recent years, but I’m glad that I took the time to read Emily Sue Harvey’s beautiful prose in Song of Renewal. And I’m curious to learn if her new book, Flavors, is just as good!