GONE A Girl, A Violin, A Life Unstrung by Min Kym

I have been on a bit of a memoir reading kick lately and have gotten really lucky with quite a few of them. When I read the synopsis of Min Kym's memoir I was instantly intrigued. Her story about growing up as a child prodigy with the constraints and challenges of being Korean sounded like something far from the usual memoirs I see on the shelf (and don't pick up). I was also instantly curious about her relationship with the violin that is stolen and how her life falls apart after its disappearance. All in all, I was excited to start this book!

Most of the beginning of the memoir, while interesting at points, was hard for me to enjoy. I am not musically inclined in any way and while I have a true passion for reading and art I was having a hard time connecting with the descriptions of what it means to be fully consumed by something. To have music and the sound of the violin play through your soul and be a living breathing part of you. I also don't know much about classical music or music theory and found myself skimming over parts regarding names of musical pieces and the like. I haven't had a chance to play through the musical playlist that accompanies the book (written out in the front and then tagged throughout the memoir, when you should play a certain piece) and I really need to do that. I think more than anything, for someone struggling to connect with this story on a musical level that would certainly help!

As the book went on and Kym finds her "soulmate" in this very special Stradivarius violin, I found myself connecting a bit more with her. Her description of the loss of this instrument (which seems like such a bland word to describe what the violin really became for her as a musical artist) was honest and well written. I felt myself hurting alongside with her, after the trials of her youth and all of her accomplishments, to have been dealt such a blow.

In the end, I enjoyed Kym's honest writing (with little regard to explanations or descriptions of things unknown to non-musicians). While I struggled with some of the more factual parts of the story when it came to names and the like, I did enjoy the memoir as a whole and the peek inside of a life I wouldn't normally have gotten to see or learn about.

Thank you to Blogging for Books for the copy in exchange for an honest review.

Gone A Girl A Violin A Life Unstrung by Min Kym
227 Pages
Published by Crown Publishing


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