5 stars · Books · Contemporary · Reviews · Young Adult

A Thousand Perfect Notes

This was entirely beautiful. There is something about this work, even as it is all about a pianist. As much as it is to not have your children live out your dreams.

Something that resonates with me far more than anything else. I have grown up with expectations placed on me even as they waned in my adolescent years. Mostly because my mother had little idea about what I was actually studying. The moment that I happened, I was able to figure out my true strengths and capitalize on them.

And it resonates with me even more as I happen to be a pianist. Someone who has reached a proficient level, although I’ll never go professional. It is simply something I do to really make me happy. And the piano was one of the many things which made me feel as though I had a talent.

The story opens with Beck who spends his life living for his mother. Everything he does is for her. Every note is that, even if it makes him bleed. There is no true joy when he’s doing that.

And then comes in August. It’s nice to know that she isn’t some saint who saved him. It’s more like she encouraged him, and got close to him even as anyone else would have simply left him there. She is someone who has managed to put herself in his heart.

Even as romance is not the thing here. The ending is open ended but given the age of the characters, it’s not a bad thing. They have time to grow, and time to meet again.

But most importantly this was about Beck reclaiming his life. Regardless of what his mother has to say. It is asserting that he is a person, not breaking from her. Because he was not made for her dreams. She had made her dreams, and when that was gone it was put on another person without ever consideration given to whether it was for Beck. And the consequences that occurred, was something that told me that this was all for her.

To me this is a message that works more because I’m Asian. This has happened to countless other families. I know of people who simply went into industries because their parents asked them to. Even I can’t say my current course was spurred on by any sudden realization that I loved programming.

It has been a pragmatic decision, the one least likely to want to make me tear my hair out. And I avoided a very narrow situation where my mother was about to send me to a school that will take me two hours to travel back and forth.

It worked because on some level my mother did that to me. She had cut off a lot of things that I could have had. She had not allowed me to do much at all. And the only times which had been my own had been the books I brought and read.

In some ways, Beck’s story is very much mine. Though it has never reached that level or will end in that degree. Beck’s story ended on a good note and I do know cases where it was worse. And in many cases, it is still the story of many children living in Asia today.

Rating: 5 out of 5


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