If musician Ron Sexsmith wrote a book, what would you expect it to sound like?
Well, now's your chance to find out, because Ron Sexsmith has done just that. Deer Life is a fairytale by the legendary songwriter, and slated for a September 2017 release.
The book's central character is Deryn Hedlight. A young lad from Hinthoven who finds out how quickly a day can turn on you. Doesn't it seem that bad things always happen to the nicest people?
Deer Life has some great messages weaved into the story; from a mother's undying love, to patience and friendship, we see the positive traits. On the darker side of the ledger, topics from bullying to revenge are juxtaposed against the light.
The book reads like a song. Well, what else would you expect from Ron Sexsmith? If you are familiar with his music, the tone of the book will sound like a beautiful melody. Which makes it all the more perfect, because after all, this is a fairytale, and fairytales are supposed to have elements of the magical, the fantastic, and the tragic.
I don't know what age group Ron Sexsmith had in mind when writing this, but it doesn't really matter. It could appeal to both the young and the young at heart. The writing surely didn't feel childish in any way.
The version I read was an arc. Like a diamond in the rough, the story seemed like it could use some major editing, and hopefully by the time the book releases in the Fall, the kinks will be ironed out. But then again, like all things, Deer Life is something that will be dear to some, and unfortunately not to others...just like Ron Sexsmith's music (or any artist's music for that matter).
Ron Sexsmith is after all more of a poet than a writer, and Deer Life reflects that. The storyline can weave in and out of ideas and themes, sometimes feeling a bit muddled, but attempting to maintain undertones of depth. Perhaps for a first time writer, more editing is required. But as we have seen with Arundhati Roy, even award-winning writers can write novels that need a lot more editing, such as The Ministry Of Utmost Happiness.
To a lover of magic and fairytales, and fans of Ron, the book is worth a read. It's not a tough slog, so there's no reason not to give it a try. Perhaps this song may just be something your heart wants to get lost in.
Whatever your take, I think there's one thing that we all will agree on. The cover is simply marvellous.
Deer Life is published by Dundurn Publishing. Review by @ShilpaRaikar