Told entirely using photographs and minimal text, Chopsticks tells the love story between piano prodigy, Gloria (“Glory”) and next-door neighbor artist, Frank. After the loss of Glory’s mother, her father, Victor, throws himself into Glory’s piano career, booking tours and sold-out performances for her. Glory, coming undone from the pressure, seeks comfort in her relationship with Frank. But even Frank’s love fails to save Glory, and, by the end of the novel, she must struggle to decide her own fate.
A lot of people have mixed feelings about this novel, but I loved it. I understand their frustration, though. The ending is very unclear. But I like the fact that it’s difficult to figure out — it leaves room for interpretation. I probably wouldn’t have like this book so much if it had been in regular print format. The storyline is largely traditional — girl meets boy, dad doesn’t approve, secret romance, etc. That said, the photographs completely make up for this lack of originality. They’re just stunning. Also, don’t be fooled by what seems like an “ordinary” plot. The end will leave you guessing. Or reading it again, like me. However, maybe a little more clarity would have been nice.
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