Rhapsody on a Theme, Matthew J Metzger
Publisher: JMS Books
Genre: New Adult, LGBT (G), Psychological
Length: 83, 786 words
Purchase At: JMS Books, amazon.com (coming soon)
Regular readers of this site will know that I get slightly swoony when I talk about and review Matthew J. Metzger. The previous books in this trilogy Vivaldi in the Dark and The Devil’s Trill Sonata are amongst my favourites of all time when it comes to the literary world. Despite my giddiness I promise that I won’t get too subjective in the following review.
***WARNING: Rhapsody on a Theme does contain mature themes such as self-harm, depression and attempted suicide. If you feel you cannot cope with depictions of these themes please do not read this review and take it into consideration before reading this book.***
Although their relationship has been repaired since the disaster that was Cambridge, Darren has not. His depression has worsened over the years until it is no longer an option to watch the illness play out its patterns. Treatment is a must.
Treatment is also a difficult disaster. When the second attempt at medication goes as badly wrong as the first, and Darren is forced through a rapid deterioration of mood swings, insomnia, nausea and increasingly dangerous thought patterns, his partner Jayden begins to fear that the only end to this disease will also be the end of Darren himself.
Apart from a single glimmer of hope: when Darren’s best friend asks Darren to play at his wedding, Darren begins to slowly return to the half-forgotten piano. As he slowly sinks back into the music that he deserted seven years earlier, the shadows — finally — begin to fade.
Why I Loved It
This trilogy is not truly about depression, it’s not about society perceptions of this disease and, as far as I’m concerned, it’s not even about Darren. Jayden is the main character; it is his battle that I have been dying to read about, and it is his battle that this book focuses on. (As it predecessors did.)
Darren is a man whom Jayden loves more than anything, they’ve been together for the seven years since Vivaldi in the Dark and have finally come to terms with the fact that Darren needs to seek treatment for his depression. Through this book Jayden develops from being the over-zealously caring partner to one who can both seek and give support.
I loved and cared about Jayden throughout this book, and through his flaws and tribulations I grew to love this book.
It is really difficult to describe this factor; truly it is. My previous reviews of this author’s works have attempted to explain it but have fallen woefully short. In his writing style Matthew J. Metzger brings across vivid and realistic worlds populated with fleshed out and believable characters, concentrating on issues I care deeply about. I realise that this may be slightly subjective but my purpose as a reviewer is to give my opinion on books and this has deeply influenced it.
The Sole Gripe
By the end of the book I got the feeling that far too many members of public were disapproving of Jayden and Darren’s relationship. Consistently seemingly random people disapprove in some way, be they family members or random people on the street. My gripe is that it was superfluous information, which I felt was added just to make it seem like the world was against these two.
All it added was a few redundant sentences through the book that didn’t draw away too much from the story, but it was a minor annoyance that I felt needed addressing.
Well as you probably guessed from my rating I enjoyed this book thoroughly; works by this author are exactly what the literary part of my mind needs on a regular basis. Rhapsody on a Theme wraps up an engrossing and thought-provoking trilogy, which will remain in my mind as a benchmark for this genre. Nothing else I have come across has dealt with the issue of depression in such a effective, realistic and mature way. Bravo to Mr. Metzger and I sincerely ask for him to keep the novels coming.