The Rising Star of Rusty Nail
By Lesley M. M. Blume
I’d heard good things about this story, and judging solely from the cover, it has a lot going for it (not to mention the author photo!). However, I just couldn’t settle down and enjoy the book.
Franny Hansen is a ten-year-old piano prodigy living in tiny Rusty Nail, where your business is everyone’s business. The town’s only music teacher has taken Franny as far as she can, however, and the budding pianist’s career seems doomed. Doomed, that is, until a mysterious Russian moves to Rusty Nail, with talent like Franny’s never seen.
Confession: I live in a small farm town. I’m surrounded by incarnate examples of Blume’s dialogue: “Her parents called me and tole me not to sell her any candy, so she don’t come in here no more.” I can only stomach so much country dialect, and Rising Star is replete with rustic phraseology. I know it’s all in fun, but at times the conversations read more like farce than anything. Blume paints some good images and keeps the action flowing, but in the end, “howdy-do” language is just not my cup of tea.