Amy R. Saltz
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (08/18)
“An Essential Song” by Amy R. Saltz is a poignant story of finding love and enduring loss, persisting through the journey of growth and finding one’s self along the way.
The story begins as two people meet, each on their own personal journey. For a time, all is well and the two cherish each other, but soon tragedy comes to pass, and the one left behind cannot fathom how to stop the pain and begin again. I don’t want to give any more specifics about the actual story but will say this – you don’t want to miss this one, it’s a rare gift.
I couldn’t help but get chills while I was reading this haunting story. The overall tone for me was a bit forlorn, while at the same time creating a mood of appreciation, and I was reminded of Alfred Lord Tennyson’s quote, “'Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.”
Inspired by personal tragedy and the loss of two loving partners, Amy Saltz pours her heart and soul into a modest and transcendental story that readers will not soon forget. The characters, especially the protagonist, are mesmerizing, enchanting the reader without ever saying a word as they journey through a whirling cycle of transformation, from grief to acceptance to love, then back again through loss, finally emerging on the other side. The writing is simple, elegant and will awaken and inspire deep thought and self-reflection.
The illustrations by Mike T. Cherry, while complementing the written word, also reflect their own story as the reader travels through the light of the forest, succumbs to the ferocity of the raging sea and angry sky, floats through the calmness after the storm and makes the final journey back to the forest. Superb illustrations.
“An Essential Song,” was produced in a picture book design, and somehow, I cannot imagine the story set in a different format. It just works. Make no mistake though, this is not a book for kids. “An Essential Song” by Amy R. Saltz is a treasure and a book I highly recommend to anyone who has loved and lost.