Category Archives: Music

The Viola Girl, by Sherri Schoenborn Murray 

I may have even loved this story more than the first one. May. It’s hard to say. I honestly really really love them both.

Sherri Schoenborn Murray has so captivated me with her unique storylines and her writing style. There is depth, there is feeling, there is so much I want to say but don’t even have words for.

The Viola Girl is all about Wren, the younger sister of Alia (The Piano Girl: Counterfeit Princess). I love that this book gave me the opportunity to get to know Wren, but I also really appreciate that it goes back in time and retells the beginning of Alia’s story – from Wren’s perspective. This gives an added dimension and provides a lot of insight into Wren’s emotion, choices, and her character as a whole.

Without giving away the story, Wren’s decision to run away to see her sister goes completely awry, leading to unexpected adventure and romance. I always find that I’m surprised by this talented writer… not necessarily in everything that happens (because there are things here and there that I suspect might happen) but I’m typically surprised by how things happen. By the twists, both large and small.

Danielle Winter is fabulous at giving Wren her own voice, as well as differentiating between characters.

I’d like to compare this story to a fruit-filled pastry. Sweet, yet not overly so. Just right. It’s a beautiful story, and one that I will revisit many times.

I received a free copy of this audio book in exchange for my honest review.. but I also have a purchased paperback setting on my bookshelf.


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The Piano Girl: Counterfeit Princess, by Sherri Schoenborn Murray

I’m not sure what I was expecting, but whatever it was, this book wasn’t it — it was so much more.

The Piano Girl: Counterfeit Princess was such a fun book. Even though I wanted to know what happened, I was truly very sad knowing I was coming up on the end of this story. I can always read it again, and I will, but there’s just something about reading a book for the first time that grabs my heart in a way that can never be with a reread. You just can never read a book for the first time twice. Profound, I know.

A well-written, imaginative story, this book by Sherri Schoenborn Murray has believable characters that I feel like I now know intimately. I really can’t rave enough. As I listened via Audible, as opposed to reading a paper copy, I would be negligent to not also tell you about the narrator. As much as I loved the story itself, Sarah Zimmerman made it even better. Her voices and expression added depth to each character and really brought out the humor. She did a beautiful job.

Princess Alia of Blue Sky is a fairly spoiled girl who suddenly finds herself on a journey she could never have dreamt of, a journey that’s quite difficult and long, to meet the betrothed she doesn’t even know she has. Over the course of the trek, under the guise of chicken farmer’s daughter (it’s a dangerous, war-torn world, and the princess whose marriage will unite two kingdoms would be a perfect hostage), Alia learns much about herself, her privileged life, and the people of both her kingdom and those surrounding. She meets murderously mean citizens but also genuinely kindhearted, gentle souls, who would give away the little they have if they think it will benefit someone else. She’s deprived of many comforts and often frustrated by Felix, her “chicken farmer father”.

Many obstacles arise in Alia’s path… gypsies, learning to peel potatoes, not knowing who is to be trusted, giants, swamp pox, and an enchanted forest maze… just to name a few. Once she arrives at her destination, Yonder, Alia’s adventures continue. With so many girls impersonating her, though, Alia must be careful, lest she be deemed a counterfeit princess as well.

This book kept me guessing, kept me wanting “just one more chapter”. 🙂 I so enjoyed following along through Alia’s story of growth and true love.

I’d liken this story to a lava cake… on the surface it strikes you as a chocolate cake with the potential of being fabulous, but the inside holds surprises greater than you might have imagined.

(I apologize for any misspellings… Since mine is the Audible version, I never saw the text of this book, only heard it.)



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