15 May 2017


Book Review / Gone by Min Kym

The spellbinding memoir of a violin virtuoso who loses the instrument that had defined her both on stage and off -- and who discovers, beyond the violin, the music of her own voice

Her first violin was tiny, harsh, factory-made; her first piece was "Twinkle Twinkle, Little Star." But from the very beginning, Min Kym knew that music was the element in which she could swim and dive and soar. At seven years old, she was a prodigy, the youngest ever student at the famed Purcell School. At eleven, she won her first international prize; at eighteen, violinist great Ruggiero Ricci called her "the most talented violinist I've ever taught." And at twenty-one, she found "the one," the violin she would play as a soloist: a rare 1696 Stradivarius. Her career took off. She recorded the Brahms concerto and a world tour was planned. Then, in a London cafe, her violin was stolen. She felt as though she had lost her soulmate, and with it her sense of who she was. Overnight she became unable to play or function, stunned into silence.

In this lucid and transfixing memoir, Kym reckons with the space left by her violin's absence. She sees with new eyes her past as a child prodigy, with its isolation and crushing expectations; her combustible relationships with teachers and with a domineering boyfriend; and her navigation of two very different worlds, her traditional Korean family and her music. And in the stark yet clarifying light of her loss, she rediscovers her voice and herself.

Published:     25th April 2017
Publisher:  Viking
Goodreads :  Click here
Series or Stand-Alone:  Stand-Alone
Source:  Review Copy from Publisher


I always find it hard to review a non-fiction book.  How can you review someone's thoughts and life experiences?  I really enjoyed this story and finding out more about Min Kym.  I will be honest and say that I hadn't heard of her before but I do love reading non-fiction biographical books about musicians and knew that I had to give this a go...  Finding out more about her, her life and career I found fascinating especially when it came to learning more about her family and their way of life, which is something I had not known a lot about.

I have to be honest and say that there were parts particularly where Min was going into detail about her violin that it did lose my interest a bit.  I found it a lot more interesting reading about her life.