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Official Review: Tears and Trombones by Nanci Lee Woody

Posted: 21 Jan 2019, 11:19
by Camille Turner
[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Tears and Trombones" by Nanci Lee Woody.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Tears and Trombones by Nanci Lee Woody is one of the best books I’ve read recently. The story is emotionally captivating and different from any I’ve previously read. Set in California in the 1940s, the story follows Joey, a young boy growing up under difficult circumstances who turns to music for a reprieve. His family life is far from idyllic, with a drunken father who is emotionally abusive and doesn’t care about what Joey wants and a kind mother who is too afraid to stand up to him. Joey’s father greatly favors his other son, John, who is older and shares similarities with him such as a love for construction work. Joey, on the other hand, has his sights set on becoming a musician.

As the years pass, readers watch Joey grow from a young boy to a middle-aged man, struggling against all odds to pursue his dream of becoming a great trombonist. From fighting with his parents to finding ways to fund his goals, his journey is an arduous one. He struggles for years between being with the woman he loves and the woman to whom he feels indebted for helping him financially. The road to performing with great musicians like Frank Sinatra and Johnny Cash is not without its obstacles, but Joey has an unquenchable determination to get there.

I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars, as it is every bit deserving of it. There was absolutely nothing I found to be lacking nor any element that I didn’t like. On the contrary, there are so many aspects that I loved and which added to the exceptionality of this book. For starters, the characters are so believable and real, each with good and bad traits. I felt that the story was quite realistic, rather than setting up the protagonist as flawless and the antagonists as villains. Additionally, while some of the events leave you with a sense of horror and move you to tears, none of them felt dramatized, but rather like unabashed glimpses into the realities of certain lifestyles.

As for the writing style, I feel that Woody is an exceptionally talented author. She only includes details and information that is interesting and which brings the book to life. I was never bored and flew through the book quite quickly, not wanting to put it down. The plot moved at a steady pace, and I was on the edge of my seat more than once to find out what would happen next. The book seems to be professionally edited, with no more than a couple of errors not worth mentioning, as is normal in any book.

I believe that nearly anyone would enjoy this book, which balances the horrors of family life with the beauty of music. Music lovers in particular will love reading about the songs and musicians present in the story and the way in which music positively changes Joey’s life, albeit at the expense of certain other areas in his private life. I wholeheartedly recommend Tears and Trombones to anyone looking for a realistic, moving story about a boy who is in many ways saved by music.

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Tears and Trombones
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Re: Official Review: Tears and Trombones by Nanci Lee Woody

Posted: 24 Jan 2019, 08:48
by kandscreeley
I majored in music in College, though I'm not doing anything with the degree. It would be interesting for me to read this, I'm sure. It sounds much more character-driven. I'll put it on my list. Thanks!

Re: Official Review: Tears and Trombones by Nanci Lee Woody

Posted: 24 Jan 2019, 11:01
by Camille Turner
kandscreeley wrote:
24 Jan 2019, 08:48
I majored in music in College, though I'm not doing anything with the degree. It would be interesting for me to read this, I'm sure. It sounds much more character-driven. I'll put it on my list. Thanks!
Ah, then I think you would definitely enjoy this! :)

Re: Official Review: Tears and Trombones by Nanci Lee Woody

Posted: 24 Jan 2019, 15:07
by chewy4uto
My parents were born in the 1920's. I grew up listening to music from the 30's and 40's. I love that time era. I also love books with a bit of family dynamics. Based on your review I will be adding this book to my shelves. Great job!

Re: Official Review: Tears and Trombones by Nanci Lee Woody

Posted: 24 Jan 2019, 18:00
by Jessacardinal
Music. California. Captivating book. Say no more - I'm sold! This sounds like a deeply emotional read, sure to tug at the heart-strings.

Re: Official Review: Tears and Trombones by Nanci Lee Woody

Posted: 24 Jan 2019, 19:27
by kdstrack
This sounds like an author to follow. I love the way you describe her writing and how the story impacted you. I would like to read this book. Thanks for your wonderful review.

Re: Official Review: Tears and Trombones by Nanci Lee Woody

Posted: 25 Jan 2019, 08:21
by Camille Turner
chewy4uto wrote:
24 Jan 2019, 15:07
My parents were born in the 1920's. I grew up listening to music from the 30's and 40's. I love that time era. I also love books with a bit of family dynamics. Based on your review I will be adding this book to my shelves. Great job!
I love it as well! I think you would definitely like the book, then. Enjoy reading it! Thank you. :)

Re: Official Review: Tears and Trombones by Nanci Lee Woody

Posted: 25 Jan 2019, 08:22
by Camille Turner
Jessacardinal wrote:
24 Jan 2019, 18:00
Music. California. Captivating book. Say no more - I'm sold! This sounds like a deeply emotional read, sure to tug at the heart-strings.
Yes, it definitely is. I'm sure you'll enjoy reading it—I loved it! Thanks for your comment. :)

Re: Official Review: Tears and Trombones by Nanci Lee Woody

Posted: 25 Jan 2019, 08:23
by Camille Turner
kdstrack wrote:
24 Jan 2019, 19:27
This sounds like an author to follow. I love the way you describe her writing and how the story impacted you. I would like to read this book. Thanks for your wonderful review.
Definitely! I will be keeping an eye out for future books from her. Thank you so much! I'm sure you will enjoy the book as much as I did. Thanks for commenting. :)

Re: Official Review: Tears and Trombones by Nanci Lee Woody

Posted: 20 Feb 2019, 13:51
by angiejack456
My son is a trombone player and passionate about music. Is this appropriate for teens?

Re: Official Review: Tears and Trombones by Nanci Lee Woody

Posted: 12 Mar 2019, 21:09
by Camille Turner
angiejack456 wrote:
20 Feb 2019, 13:51
My son is a trombone player and passionate about music. Is this appropriate for teens?
Hmm, depends on the teen I think. There are definitely a lot of emotionally heavy scenes when it comes to the main character's family. The father, in particular, is a bit abusive.

Re: Official Review: Tears and Trombones by Nanci Lee Woody

Posted: 15 Jun 2019, 05:46
by Daniel_
I'll love to read this book, not just because of my love for music, also because i'm interested in knowing the challenges he faced, and how he overcame them. Thanks for the wonderful review.

Re: Official Review: Tears and Trombones by Nanci Lee Woody

Posted: 15 Jun 2019, 05:47
by Ruba Abu Ali
I highly appreciate a moving and realistic story. Thank you for the wonderful review.

Re: Official Review: Tears and Trombones by Nanci Lee Woody

Posted: 15 Jun 2019, 05:58
by Brendan Donaghy
I might well read this book, which sounds from your review as if it is both realistic and emotional at the same time. I'll be interested to see how the author handles the passing of the years in the story, as Joey moves from childhood to being an adult. Many thanks for a great review!

Re: Official Review: Tears and Trombones by Nanci Lee Woody

Posted: 15 Jun 2019, 05:59
by gali
A coming of age tale about a young boy who aspires to be a musician against the wishes of his abuse father sounds hurt-tugging. It is inspiring that he managed to become a great musician against all odds. He was indeed "saved by his music." Good writing, steady pace, and exact info add to the appeal. That the book was well edited is another plus. Not my cup of tea, but I am glad you enjoyed the book. Thank you for the review!