A debut novel that follows the ups and downs of a British rock band, on the charts and in their lives.
Astrid, just a teenager, has already done enough jet setting. Raised in Canada and whisked to Australia, she’s later dragged back home by her overbearing father after her mother dies. She makes a host of friends, and the center of this new family is Dandy, a beautiful free spirit who meets a group of young musicians in London. Dandy falls in love with guitarist Mac, while Astrid falls for Kenny, a soulful singer who’s also wild about her. Mac’s already a successful solo musician when he decides to form a new band, The Midnight All Stars, with Kenny and several others. Dandy and Mac marry and struggle to start a family despite Mac’s hectic tour schedule. Astrid and Kenny also have a child but eschew marriage. The band’s popularity soars, and a tour stop in Germany turns into a dangerous mob scene. As the drama of the band continues—a drummer in rehab, a useless tour manager—their dramatic personal lives keep pace. Astrid pursues filmmaking and is seduced by movie mogul Alister, whom she marries in what her loved ones fear is a fit of insanity. Dandy, meanwhile, is torn among her blossoming career as a novelist, the demands of her children and the constant loneliness of having a husband on the road. The novel’s greatest distraction is its sheer population, as readers meet 23 characters in the first 50 pages, with dozens more to follow. Readers may find themselves constantly flipping back to remember, for example, who Julia’s husband is or how many sisters Dandy has. The plot’s many twists, including the introduction of a long-lost nephew, only adds to the confusion. The strongest relationship in the book is Dandy and Mac’s, whose deep love and affection comes through clearly on every page; it would be satisfying to follow their marriage alone, but the chapters switch between Dandy’s and Kenny’s points of view, making for an overwhelming tale. Determined readers, however, will be rewarded with warm portraits of love—between friends, lovers, partners, parents, children and band mates.
A sprawling novel that, despite its huge cast, may charm fans of contemporary romance.