Thursday, September 16, 2010
The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt
Recently I joined a string ensemble group and it has been fun playing in a group again. Its reminded me of one of my all-time favorite young adult books, since it is about a cellist. I have read it over and over again, even as an adult. The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt is written by the same author as Sarah, Plain and Tall. She has a simple writing style that nevertheless gets to the heart of complicated family relationships.
Minna Pratt is a teenager who plays in a string quartet, and there meets Lucas who seems to have the perfect life. Minna feels her family is anything but perfect, and are in fact rather odd and eccentric. She struggles to figure out how she fits into all this, and why Lucas thinks her family is so interesting. She also struggles with her musical talent, trying to figure out how it plays into her life. The characters in this book are funny and unique, from the cranky quarter leader nicknamed Porch to Minna's little brother who hums and sings everything that he says.
I love this book first because Minna reminds me a lot of myself, in her relationship with music especially. I was never the musician who loved practicing, but I loved making music, and I loved playing music with other people. But beyond the subject matter of music and cello and all that, it is about the kind of secret strange lives we live in our own heads and how we try to fit all that in to the world around us. It is also a lot about appreciating what we have, instead of wanting the seemingly perfect lives of others.
One of my oft-used quotes comes from this book, and it reminds me constantly of the value and beauty of good writing and poetry: "Fact and Fiction are Different Truths." Enjoy both the fact and fiction you find in this good read.