An opposites-attract romance featuring the world of music and deafness
This story (as it happens with many books published by Ylva) was first conceived as fan fiction, more specifically, a Swan Queen alternative universe. Originally published in 2015, it’s been released as a book in 2022 and this year as an audiobook narrated by Abby Craden.
Kate Flynn is a rising cellist playing at the Windy City Chamber Ensemble in Chicago. New to the city, she’s intrigued by the board’s president, Vivian Kensington, a prickly ice queen who is also deaf. Soon they develop a friendship which eventually opens the possibility of much more. But can two women so different from each other find common ground to explore a potential relationship?
This is an opposites-attract romance between two characters who couldn’t be more different. Kate is a single mum, used to changing jobs and places focusing on improving her music career prospects and income. Vivian, on the other hand, has a stable job in her native Chicago, a wealthy upbringing, and is deaf. The romance starts slowly but eventually picks up pace, though I felt that their chemistry was just ok.
For me personally, the most interesting aspects of the plot were the music scenes and the descriptions of Vivian’s deafness. It’s heartbreaking to see how she is marginalised and how she navigates the difficulties of social interactions as a deaf person. As a consequence of these difficulties, she’s often perceived as an ice queen, but the interactions with Kate’s son show her in a different light. I liked how the author deals with the issue of ableism, on how people are prejudiced against someone with a disability. It definitely gives some food for thought.
Abby Craden narrated the audiobook version and did a fantastic job in performing Vivian and her speech difficulties. As usual, she brings the written text to life. 4 stars.
Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins