Beyond the Song
Reviewed by Diana Coyle for Reader Views 12/2021
In Ms. Selick’s autobiographical novel, “Beyond the Song,” readers are introduced to the author’s alter ego as she carves her niche into the music industry during the sixties and seventies. We meet people she casually encounters and people that are truly her friends—all helping her try to carry out her dream of becoming a successful singer-songwriter. Through her stories, we get to know her on a more intimate level, as if we are best friends living our lives in sync with each other.
The author tells the story in such a way that I felt as though I have lived through the sixties and seventies right alongside her. She sprinkled song lyrics throughout the book and each set of lyrics was chosen to help tell that part of her story. Through the lyrics, I felt her emotions on all different levels.
I found her casual tone refreshing, and I enjoyed her storytelling capabilities. Since this book was based on her adventures during the sixties and seventies, I, the reader, had to keep in mind the casual relationships, both platonic and romantic, that had developed so much differently than a relationship nowadays when a person always has to be cautious of who their partner is and who they have been with prior.
I also found her warm and vulnerable storytelling to be very entertaining because she made me feel her insecurities and there were even times where she was being more assertive in what she wanted. I equally enjoyed reading her misadventures, such as her hitchhiking during the time of the Manson murders or when she attended anti-war demonstrations. Each told adventure added another layer to the already complex person she is. What was amazing was seeing how she matured even more from the previous chapter I read.
Overall, “Beyond the Song” was a fun story to read, and I enjoyed the adventures I went on with Ms. Selick. Since some topics were for more mature audiences, I’d say this book would best fit older teens and adults.