Susan Helene Gottfried has given the readers of Trevor’s Song an all access backstage pass into the scenes of a touring rock star band and the complex life of a man on the edge.
Trevor Wolff is on the edge of super stardom, the edge of self destruction, the edge of life and death. As the man who brought together the band, Shapeshifters, it is a matter of pride that the popular heavy rock band is soaring to super stardom status. Trevor may not be a talented bassist but he is enjoying the benefits of the band lifestyle, women, money, status and well, more women. His childhood friend, Mitchell, is the front man with the looks and talent. Mitchell’s family helped Trevor to survive his abusive childhood, and though the scars remain Trevor is mostly content. Then Mitchell meets Kerri and Trevor struggles with the changes that brings to his relationships.
Gottfried explores Trevor’s internal conflicts, with humour and honesty. He is happy for, but deeply envious of, the new couples happiness. He wants to hate Kerri but instead is in half in love her. He would never betray his friendship with Mitchell, and Kerri isn’t interested, so Trevor finds himself having to negotiate this new situation. It’s not an easy thing to do for a man whose idea of love is transient at best. However the newlywed’s show Trevor a possibility he hadn’t really considered before, love and commitment that makes each half of the relationship a better person. It’s both intriguing and fun to watch Trevor essentially discover maturity by observing Mitchell and Kerri. Trevor is such a unique character and it is to the authors credit that the author is able to reconcile his complicated personality and emotions in a way that is genuine and sympathetic. Having witnessed Trevor’s growth during the course of the novel, his medical crisis is a threat to a character that is only just starting to find his way.
Gottfried’s experience in the music scene shows in the details. It’s a unique setting in that Shapeshifter’s doesn’t have the glamour that is usually exploited as a celebrity lifestyle. Tour buses are cramped and without privacy no matter how expensive they are, and concerts are not just about the music but high pressure situations that demand all the band members can give every time.
Gottfried has a natural style of writing and dialogue that suits her story and characters. There is some language and explicit sexual encounters though they are not gratuitous. I felt that perhaps the pace could have been a smoother, a lot of time in the first half is set on establishing the characters but there isn’t enough happening . Seeds of the events that happen in the second half could have planted earlier to hint at the things to come. I also felt that too much of the first half is Mitchell’s story to tell rather than Trevor’s. Though the relationship between Mitchell and Kerri is an essential part of Trevor’s character growth, I think the approach could have been skewed a bit more to ensure that Trevor’s perspective stayed central.
Trevor’s Song is Trevor’s story, he is a complex individual that Susan Helen Gottfried brings to life with cheeky humour and emotional depth. This novel is a well written, contemporary story with unique and appealing characters. Gottfried is currently working on a sequel and so Trevor’s refrain will continue.
(reviewed 63 days after purchase)