Sierra Court Blues

Lawrence Parlier
Sierra Court Blues
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Hawkins Publishing Group
Release Date
September 2013
Mainstream fiction

Sierra Court Blues transports the reader on a mind-bending adventure with the main character Bo Kineally, a young father and husband with dreams of becoming a nationally known star from the backwoods of Bethel, Ohio. Can Bo strike a balance between his responsibilities and desires as both sides vie for his attention? Sierra Court Blues leaves nothing to the imagination with gripping characters, dysfunctional band members, roller-coaster drama, heart wrenching relationships, betrayal, and intricate family dynamics. The novel is sure to be a page turner for metal music enthusiasts everywhere.

Book Review by Bridget (reviewer)
Oct 15, 2013   [ OFFICIAL REVIEW ]
113 people found the following review helpful
For all those who had ever harbored dreams of becoming a world-famous musician, this book might just be for you. Unwavering, sometimes painfully honest, Lawrence Parlier's debut is an unexpectedly engaging tale of childhood dreams and coming of age.

Bo Kineally has music in his soul and dreams of becoming a nationally recognized musician, but life keeps getting in the way of his plans. Married and a father at the age of nineteen, Bo has enough trouble making ends meet and keeping his disillusioned wife happy without the drama caused by his band mates.

Things start looking up when Bo and his band get hired for a show that might lead to their big break—but that's before his wife reveals that she is pregnant again and demands that Bo give up his dreams. After a stark refusal, Bo finds himself kicked out of his home and living in a trailer at Sierra Court with his best friend and band mate, Jon. Now, though he tells himself this is the time to make his dreams come true, Bo can't escape the truth that the drama that Jon consistently attracts is a threat not only to the band, but to his friendship and his friend's life.

Bo is consistently the eye of the storm throughout this book, and his compassion helps humanize the high drama of his friends and fellow band members. Though his descriptions of some of the women in the story are a little less than respectful, it does help remind the reader of his youth and his sheer frustration. Ultimately, Bo is a very sympathetic character navigating circumstances far more troubling and complicated than he can truly comprehend. His love for his son is thoroughly endearing and offers a consistent source of hope through even his darkest moments.

This book is as much a love story to music as it is about Bo's journey. The descriptions of the songs and the feeling of letting your most raw, elemental emotions out through music are some of the most engrossing and emotional of the book. Even though I'm not strictly a fan of metal, I could completely relate to Bo's passion and his drive, and the pain of forsaking that love for the demands of ‘real life'. This is a love story on a number of levels, but Bo's relationship with music and his songs were truly touching throughout.

I did find Jon's exploits, especially his relationship with his girlfriend, to be a little too close to caricature in places, but the heartache they caused was thoroughly believable, and the effects of their destructive habits on Bo were real and wrenching. Though not my favorite aspect of this book, Jon's story provided an interesting comparison to Bo, and certainly helped his better qualities shine through.

Though some awkward phrasing and dialogue interrupt the flow of the book, Lawrence Parlier has done an impressive job bringing this coming-of-age story to life. His insight not only into Bo's emotional growth but his passion for music makes this book memorable and moving and will definitely carry any music fan away.
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