Nicole's Reviews > Trumpet

Trumpet by Jackie Kay
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's review
Aug 16, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: lgbt-etc, adult-technically
Recommended for: those who appreciate a well-turned phrase
Read from August 08 to 13, 2011

It’s not often that a book can completely surprise you. I mean ta-da, pull the wool over your eyes, gasp out loud surprise you.

It’s clear from the start that Joss and Millie Moody share a secret and now that their secret is out life will never be the same. You get that on page one. Now see, I thought the secret was something to do with racial tensions or how this black man and white woman met and married or maybe how they managed to adopt their son. Some sort of sinister family secret or crime committed in the name of love.

Not so.

To say more would be to spoil the story, so I’m going to delve into some abstract discussion of the book. The multiple narrators had very distinct voices, though sometimes they wore on my nerves. Millie was eloquent but redundant while Colman was just a jackass. To be fair, I’m guessing that was intentional. I mean, when you’re drowning in grief, you do circle in emotional spirals and when you feel betrayed by your parents, you might ramble like a jackass.

I loved the peripheral character interjections. They read like characters from Our Town, giving a hint of their lives by describing their interactions with the various Moody family members. Some of Millie’s descriptions of her grief were lovely. At first, the ending seemed to come out of nowhere, but thinking back, I can clearly trace Colman’s steps to his breaking point/acceptance so it makes more sense than I originally thought.

Go read this book and then call me so we can talk about it.

Most apt line: “I didn’t feel like I was living a lie. I was living a life.” Seriously, let’s talk.
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