Schroder by Amity Gaige


Schroder by Amity Gaige has been languishing in my Netgalley to-be-read stack for ages. I liked the sound of it but the cover was a disconnect – it didn’t really look like a father and daughter story (more like a guy and girl getting it on in a pond – see above and tell me I’m wrong). It would have stayed languishing had it not been for signing up for the Review Pile Reading Challenge and seeing it listed in some ‘Best of 2013’ lists.

Quite frankly, it’s not making any of my favourites lists. It had some good elements – an unreliable narrator, a moral dilemma – but for the most part, the story putts along.

However, there’s one bit that will stay with me. Halfway through the story we meet a character named April. April tells Schroder that she is the subject of a rock song.

“You know, I always wondered where you girls went.”
“What girls?”
“The subjects of love songs.”
“You’re joking, but actually, I tried getting a group together about ten years ago. Lola. Jesse. Roxanne. Roseanna. Don’t forget Layla.”

 It got me thinking, wouldn’t it be cool to say “Hi, I’m Cecilia. As in Simon and Garfunkel’s Cecilia.” And who is Bobby McGee? So, here are my top ten ‘who was the inspiration and where are they now’ songs –

10. Happy Birthday Helen by Things of Stone and Wood

9. Louise by Jona Louie

8. Denis by Blondie

7. Oh Sherrie by Steve Perry

6. Jessie’s Girl by Rick Springfield

5. Oh Julian by Club Hoy

4. Donna by Ritchie Valens

3. Mandy by Barry Manilow (I love Barry and I won’t hear a bad word against him, okay?)

2. Song for Whoever by Beautiful South

1. And no, this song is not about me.

I received my copy of  Schroder from the publisher, Hachette, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review (I give it a 2/5).


10 responses

  1. Oh this is a brilliant review. I might blatantly copy with credit someday. This was a did not finish for me. And I hated the cover to, in regards to making the book appealing.

    • I saw Barry live in Vegas two years ago (yes, I’m a huge fan) and guess what the name of the girl sitting next to me was?! MANDY! We went nuts when the song came on. She was there with her mum (who named her Mandy because she loved the song!).

  2. Great post – there was a documentary about this a while back, the people & stories behind songs, unfortunately my goldfish memory means I can’t enlighten you on any of them! You won’t hear a bad word about Barry from me….all together now: “shadows of a man, a face through a window, crying the night…” 🙂

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