We all join many bands in our lives. Some good, some bad, some life changing.
In his latest magical novel, “The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto,” author Mitch Albom tells the epic life story of the greatest guitar player in the history of music.
Music, a character who bestows talent, narrates the story of a most gifted guitarist and singer, Francisco Presto, a tragic orphan born in a burning church in a war-torn Spanish town.
Frankie is plucked from certain death in a river and eventually taught to play by a blind music teacher. Music’s disciple is saved once again when sent to America at the bottom of a boat at only 9 years old. Leaving his only known “band” behind, Frankie’s only possessions are an old guitar with six strings of mystical origin.
His saga continues in America, and, in a “Forrest Gump” way, is tied inextricably to major music milestones over the course of three decades. He joins and leaves many bands on his journey while building fame and family amongst the backdrop of the Vietnam War, Woodstock and eventually Hurricane Katrina.
Albom’s gift for writing and love of music is on full display as Frankie’s story is woven into pivotal moments with musicians such as Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Hank Williams and Paul Stanley from KISS.
Throughout Music’s tale, we visit six lives changed when Frankie uses his talent with his magical strings. As is the case with all of Albom’s tales, the story of Frankie Presto plucks at the heartstrings when his dramatic death brings together members of his many bands throughout his life.
“Music is the connection of human souls, speaking a language that needs no words. Everyone joins a band in this life. And what you play always affects someone. Sometimes it affects the world.” – Music
As a reader, these last words on the last page challenged me to reflect on the many bands I’ve joined throughout my own life. True friends categorized by specific times in my lifeline, influential co-workers marked by my career milestones, and family members connected by decades of love, loss and laughter.
I hope, when at the end of my own story, my impact on the lives in my bands will also be everlasting.
Sheila Curley is principal/owner of sixPR. She said she fell in love with books after learning to read the Bernstein Bears series at 4. “Soon, I had read and re-read every book in my elementary school’s library by the end of third grade.”
Like many other reviewers for Frontier Reads, Sheila said it’s impossible to choose a favorite book.