Can you feel nostalgic for a life you've never known?
Suffused with her much-loved warmth and wit, Emma John's memoir follows her moving and memorable journey to master one of the hardest musical styles on earth - and to find her place in an alien world.
Emma had fallen out of love with her violin when a chance trip to the American South introduced her to bluegrass music. Classically trained, highly strung and wedded to London life, Emma was about as country as a gin martini. So why did it feel like a homecoming?
Answering that question takes Emma deep into the Appalachian mountains, where she uncovers a hidden culture that confounds every expectation - and learns some emotional truths of her own.
I went into this book with such high hopes. I will start off by saying that I am a female twenty-something American who has had the fortune of living all over the country and overseas for a few years, and my parents raised me with a real appreciation for bluegrass/folk/country/etc. Anyway, what I was expecting and what this work actually is, is vastly different. I was expecting much more history on bluegrass itself. There’s some of that, but only a couple pages at a time. What this book mostly consists of is the memoirs of a liberal, middle-aged Londoner who emigrated to the American South and who finds joy in thinking herself morally better than the mostly (the way she portrays them) conservative, simple people that play the music she claims to adore. She drags politics into the book way too often. I don’t care if the people she spoke to voted for Trump or Clinton or whatever, I want the history and intricacies of bluegrass music. I couldn’t bring myself to finish it. Awful, judgmental, and poorly written. Don’t insult the people you (supposedly?) admire. I’ve never had to write a review or quit a book on my Books app but this one did me in. Don’t bother.