Porcelain Keys, a lyrical debut novel by Ms. Beard, introduces us to the world of Aria, a musician who cannot play, and her relationship with Thomas, a man who cannot live, but has yet to find the means to die. They build together a means of recapturing themselves, of being human and whole, but one night shatters the fragile connection.
Picking up pieces of something intangible as one’s soul, Aria begins with the pursuit of her music. Through her fingers, she can speak what cannot be expressed in words, except that what she unleashes is hard to stopper up once the final notes fade away. Thus forced to qualm the healing effects of her music, friends – and a new relationship with fellow musician Devin – step in to offer her the guidance, love, and warmth that, like mortar, give her the strength to build again.
The sudden reappearance of Thomas in Aria’s home threatens to knock her walls down, sending what little semblance of balance and healing she has achieved tumbling into a place that cannot be recovered.
Will Thomas prove her true love and mortar? Can she be his healing force, offering him a means to live once more? Or are some things like Humpty-Dumpty, and too broken to piece together again?
A gorgeous sweet romance, Porcelain Keys has clean, tender love scenes that could work in Christian Fiction; the range of love encompasses the romantic, the familial, and the divine, though there are no outward references to scripture or anything that would confine the heart of that divine love to any one religion or God.
Ms. Beard is a musician, and reading her is something like listening to classical music. The words rise, sway, plummet, dance, evoking emotions and truths beyond what mere words, in combination, can. It was very hard to put her book down and, long after I had finished reading, the echoes of her refrains stayed with me.