Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Living by Ear by Mary Rowen (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Living by Ear by Author Mary Rowen!

Book Review

Living by Ear by Mary Rowen
Publisher: Booktrope
Publication Date: September 3, 2014
Format: Paperback - 258 pages
             Kindle - 1829 KB
ISBN: 978-1620155325
Genre: Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Living by Ear

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

What happens when the world you love doesn’t press pause when you do? Singer-songwriter Christine Daley hit the streets of Boston and became a minor celebrity—with a local radio hit—in the 90s, but a "short" career break to marry and have kids changed everything. Now, sixteen years later, she’s a frustrated suburban housewife, struggling to find her place in life.

After filing for divorce, she learns that her attempts to reestablish her own rhythms—both in music and in love—are more complicated than she'd anticipated. Her two teenagers are desperate for their mom, and her soon-to-be-ex-husband is throwing every obstacle he can in her way. Adding to the stress is the progress in technology, which has not only changed the music industry, but also the dating world. Is there room in the mix for Chris?

My Book Review:

Living by Ear is a wonderful story that is about a woman who strives to reestablish her music career and balance the needs of her family after getting a divorce. Set in Boston and told in the first person narrative, and alternating between the present and flashbacks to the 1990s, the reader follows the journey of Christine Daley as she rediscovers who she is and what she wants after being a suburban housewife for the past sixteen years.

Back in the 1990s, Christine Daley was a struggling Boston street musician who became a minor celebrity on a popular rock and roll station. Chris met local defense attorney Jon Wendt while performing on a street corner, he was interested in helping her pursue her music career. Mutual attraction led to them getting married, and Chris put her music dreams on hold in order to raise their family in the suburbs. Sixteen years later in September of 2010, Chris has filed for divorce and is making plans to restart her music career. This time there is nothing that will hold her back ... or so she thought. With time comes changes, especially in the music industry, and as Chris embarks on a journey of self-discovery, she soon discovers that finding her new place in life is anything but easy.

Author Mary Rowen weaves a realistic and moving tale that easily draws the reader into Chris's story. I found it easy to relate to Chris as she tries to recapture the life she once had while struggling to balance the daily responsibilities of meeting her families needs. As Chris tries to deal with the consequences of the choices that she made in her life, she always held onto her passion and desire to fulfill her musical dream, so she embarks on a journey of self-discovery where she can reconnect with her true self while finding balance in life. The reader gets to know Chris as her story unfolds through the alternating time periods. You can't help but feel for Chris as she struggles with the obstacles and hurdles along the journey, and cheer for her as she comes into her own.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention that the author does a wonderful job of providing a rich description of Boston's landmarks and the dynamics of the local "busking" street corner music scene.

Living by Ear is a poignant and enjoyable story about life, love, and finding one's true self.


About The Author

Mary Rowen loves music and is a Boston area mom to teenagers. All of her novels focus on women of various ages growing up, or at least becoming comfortable with themselves. Her essays have been anthologized and/or published on multiple blogs. Mary grew up in the Massachusetts Merrimack Valley, is a graduate of Providence College, and has worked as a teacher, writer, salesperson, and political canvasser. She firmly believes that all of those jobs provide good preparation for an aspiring writer.


Contest Giveaway

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Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

November 10 – Chick LitPlus
November 12 – Two Children and a Migraine 
November 12 – StormGoddess Book Reviews
November 13 – Writerin a Wheelchair
November 14 - Authorsand Readers Book Corner
November 17 - Jersey Girl Book Reviews


  1. Thank you for this lovely review, Kathleen. I'm glad you enjoyed the book!--Mary Rowen

    1. Hi Mary! Thank you for the opportunity to host your virtual book tour event. I really enjoyed reading Living by Ear. :)