Adios to My Old Life by Caridad Ferrer
"I've been wounded, jaded, loved and hated. I've wrestled wrong and right." - Lyrics from the Martina McBride song God's Will .
I know, Adios isn't really a country song kinda book, but those lyrics do a great job of describing what Ali faces in Adios. And with this is mind, I'm going to go over the relationships Ali deals with on her journey to musical stardom.
"How many roads we’ve traveled
How many dreams we’ve chased
Across sand and sky and gravel
Looking for one safe place"
"One Safe Place" Marc Cohn
lyrics by Marc Cohn & Phil Gladston
Her Music - Yeah, I know, I discussed the music yesterday, but not in this aspect, so humor me, please? As I said yesterday, Ferrer didn't simply tell you that music was the basis of the story, she made the music a character. I think we all have a relationship in our lives with something that doesn't necessarily breathe. I, for example, have many. The books I read, music, my writing. All things that come in and sweep me to another place. Friends of a deeper sort. That was music for Ali. It was her friend of old. The one relationship she knew would always be with her, inside of her. Compelling her to do her best and giving her that shoulder to cry her troubles into without ever murmuring any words but of comfort. Comfort and Joy! And there I was, throwing my head back, laughing, before lowering it for another one of those crazy solo runs along the strings of my Bernabe, which had never looked more beautiful, glowing under the stage lights. Can't you feel that? The excitement the music brings to her life. Like the best of relationships, music allows Ali to be herself.
We've shared the years
We've shared each day
I love you daddy
But I found my way
You know the world
Is an evil place
My baby is grown now
She's found her way
"Changes" - Kelly and Ozzy Osbourne
Her Papi - Roberto "Robbie" Montero, Professor of Music, musician and Single Father, loves his daughter. He has raised her, taught her music, sacrificed for her, and would do anything for her. But, when Ali goes behind his back to audition for Oye Mi Canto does he have the strength to let her chase her dreams? The dynamic of Ali's relationship with her father was touching. Whenever Ali talks of her father, or to her father, you feel the respect in her even though they may not always agree. As a parent, I could very much identify with Robbie. You want your children to chase their dreams, to harness their God-given talents, but oh, how you dread them getting hurt, and letting go so they can achieve all of that is a very hard thing to do. He was still worrying whether or not he'd done the right thing by letting me go through with this gig...Very weird this new distance. A little scary, really. But the old routines weren't gone. They were still there. Thank God. Ali's dad and his love for her, is probably one of the best relationships in Adios, the give and take of parenting, seen through a child's eye, amazing. There is a few paragraphs after Robbie finds out about the audition, that, for me, shows exactly what an amazing team this father and daughter make, so bear with me, 'cause I'm gonna do that piece together thang again, ...the sound of his guitar, sweet melodic, began drifting in - joined a few measures later by his clear baritone, pitched low and soft as he sang the lyrics...The first piece of music he'd ever taught me. ...Settling onto a chair, I began strumming the counterpoint and singing the melody...Playing with Papi was comforting, like a familiar blanket is comforting. It amazed me, but while reading this particular passage, I could hear the music and I could feel the emotions. There was the sense that Ali and Robbie had come to a crossroads of sorts, but even if they each chose a different road, they had a bond that would cross over all else, and keep each other connected. I mean, Wow. Just - WOW!
Okay, now that you are dying to read the book, if you weren't already, I'll sign off for today. Check back tomorrow and meet a few more of the wonderful characters that make up Ali's life as I post the final part to my review of Adios! And please note, the songs I have quoted today are not a part of the book, I'm just diggin' the whole music theme right now.