Music From Another World by Robin Talley

Grounded In Fact

Music From Another World by Robin Talley is a powerful historical young adult novel set over 1977 and 1978. It is a novel of discovery, protest and finding your way in the world.

The novel follows two fifteen year old female pen-pals – it starts as a school project but becomes a place where they can share their deepest fears and desires.

As fifteen year olds the world is a scary place as you emerge from childhood but are not quite an adult. It is a time to discover who you are and what you want.

The main focus of the novel is the persecution of the homosexual community in America. Ordinary men, women and teens are looked down on. “God made each of us the way we are. Why are we supposed to think being different is a bad thing?” Religion plays a major role in the teens upbringing – one is a Catholic and attends a strict Catholic school, the other is a Baptist going to a church run by her aunt and uncle. Religion and the religious are cruel and unkind. The girls are not introduced to a God who loves them but subjected to the religious who hate them. The tensions are high as is the violence. It is horrific to think that these attitudes were in my lifetime (I was thirteen in 1977).

The novel is written in the form of letters and diary entries in the first person. The reader becomes intimately acquainted with both girls who brought out my motherly instincts.

1977 was a time of punk rock. The girls are both into this type of music, not to rebel, they just like it.

Actual historical figures, political stances, victories and defeats are quoted in the novel. Thank you Robin Talley for opening my eyes to a terrible time within my lifetime and for educating me. The unrest in society mirrors the unrest in the girls hearts.

Music From Another World was a departure from my usual genre but I was captivated by the story. The overwhelming response that I am left with is – let us love people. Let us never judge, that is not our job. Ours is to love.

I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.

JULIA WILSON

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