#BookReview: The Big Wide Calm by Rich Marcello

Paige is a rock star. The world just doesn’t know it yet. She’s got the charisma, the drive, and, of course, the mega-musical skills. All she needs is to make her debut album, one that will change the world, inspire revolutions–and make her galactically famous along the way.

When John Bustin, a former semi-famous singer/songwriter offers to record Paige’s album for free, it feels like destiny, like the next step on her way to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Guitar in hand, Paige sets off to John’s recording compound, ready to unfold her future.

But the ever-elusive John, with his mysterious history, and Paige, a big dreamer but naive about her footing in life, clash as much as they coalesce. Before they can change the world through Paige’s music, the improbable duo must learn to work together.

A coming of age story and retrospective, The Big Wide Calm focuses on human nature and the complexities of love through the eyes of young and old on the journey of creating the perfect album.


This book gave me company while I trudge through the annoying period of healing after an ankle sprain.

I read a lot of reviews about this book and I was quite surprised by the bad reviews, Sometimes people can be so negative online.

Firstly, I didn’t take The Big Wide Calm as anything more than Paige Plant’s debut album. For the simple reason that I had never thought of it as something life changing in terms of philosophy. And it is preferable that you don’t read too much into it.

The book takes you through a journey of how Paige goes about recording her album. Her trials and her thoughts as she makes music and makes it much better than what she had ever made. I found the fact that Paige painted her songs, an interesting twist.

I was drawn into the world of songwriting and music and I could imagine a small haunt somewhere, which was the creative spot for writing music and pushing yourself. Sometimes, we do our best when we are not around the usual hustle and bustle of life.

I felt the relationship between Paige and John was a typical teacher student relationship. I could relate to Paige because I was like her, I was competitive and driven towards my goals. Paige also called her friends by their first letters, especially the men, like a David would be a D and that was a quirk i really enjoyed.

I realised how much an artist has to be motivated, to continuously put out good work, and also how hard they have to work in this overtly competitive world. The twists and turns hooked me in and I was totally involved in the story.

At the risk of giving away too much, I’m not going to talk about some of my favorite bits of the story. I felt that the language sometimes seemed to betray Paige’s age. I felt sometimes, the language was like a teenager. But Paige is a confident and a driven character and I appreciate women who are like that.

I felt the end was brilliant. I felt so complete. Like the author said in his interview, by the time the book was done, I could let the book go. And feel complete. This is what I liked.

It is not strictly a romance novel as I want to promote on my blog, but this book is more about the combined love for yourself and what you do.

My Rating: 4/5


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