5 stars – Brigita Orel
What first attracted me to it was the fact that it was about musicians (I used to date a bass player once upon a time) and that it was about grieving. Stories about pop stars are a bit like how Elliot sees Ashbirds’ songs before the Hyde Park concert in Ever Rest – so overfamous that he doesn’t even like them anymore. Until he hears them live in concert. And so is with celebrities we see and hear on every step these days, until you read Roz Morris’s Ever Rest. She imbues the god-like superstars with so many human emotions, motivations and sensitivities that I couldn’t but feel with them, and they stayed with me long after I finished the book.
The entire narrative is built on the tension between the people that Ashten left behind when he died in the Himalayas. The conflicts are so well-written and nuanced (as are the characters and their actions) that they sustain the story till the very end, with the pace never slacking. More than just an insight into celebrity life, Ever Rest’s main appeal is in its demonstration of how fame changes even something as basic as grieving, as the sense of guilt, of uncertainty, of being unable to find closure and move on – and at the same time, how the famous feel the same way mere mortals do.
I was fascinated by Elza’s and Hugo’s characters and how they’ve each reacted differently to the situation. Elza is so contained and stoic in the face of the public scrutiny and I kept expecting her to either break down or fly into a rage at some point. And Hugo distances himself completely from his previous life as a rock star, finding purpose in exactly that which killed his bandmate. To pay for his inability to see the trouble Ashten was in by perfecting his skills and helping others? Who knows.
In Ever Rest, the music and climbing are both a way to lose oneself in (or find themselves). All that vivid detail brought back recollections from when I used to know musicians and that awakening of the memories made the story so much more raw and real.
Five stars from start to finish!