I love music and used to have it playing constantly. But when we moved to NYC, amazingly it wasn’t as easy to listen to music here. In NYC I don’t drive, so no listening in the car, which had always been a staple for me. Here, I walk all the time, but the traffic can be so loud that it’s hard to hear on an iPod. But then I started spinning and running again. Music in class, and music while I put in the miles on the trails and roads of Central Park, brought me back to music. So when I was asked to put together songs that reflect THE GLASS KITCHEN: A Novel of Sisters, I think the list that follows represents Spin Class, Running and the Book equally! So with my playlist soaring through my apartment, I will dive in!
THE GLASS KITCHEN opens up in Texas, and oddly, I love a crazy version of the song HO HEY, the one done on the TV show Nashville. But what’s not to love about two sisters, who play sisters, singing a song for a book about sisters!
Chapter Two switches to New York City. We meet Portia and her sisters in this new world, each of them trying to find their footing. A song that I listened to repeatedly while I was writing the book was SECRETS by OneRepublic. Don’t we all have secrets? The sisters certainly do.
In Chapter Three we meet twelve-year-old Ariel, echoing the sprite in Shakespeare’s THE TEMPEST. I love Ariel, I loved writing her, especially because she has a way of getting into trouble. She has her own voice in Chapter Five, and while Ariel isn’t anything like Britney Spears, I couldn’t help but think of her song, OOPS! I DID IT AGAIN for my little sprite.
In Chapter Sixteen, Gabriel Kane, Portia upstairs neighbor and father to Ariel, is reluctant to see things anyway but his way. Portia cajoles him up to the rooftop of the town house they live in. She asks him to look at the clouds and tell her what he sees. He can’t believe Portia would even consider asking him to participate in a child’s game. Of course he turns the tables on her, and one of my favorite songs ever fits the bill for that scene. BITTERSWEET SYMPHONY by The Verve.
In Chapter Seventeen, Gabriel gets dragged to a Texas fundraiser in NYC called the Bandana Ball. It is a little bit of Texas in New York City. This hardcore Yankee can hardly believe he is there, but while the night is filled with Country Classics, it’s Miranda Lambert’s GUNPOWDER & LEAD that speaks to the night when Portia shows Gabriel what she’s made of.
Chapter Eighteen is an intense chapter where strong, determined Gabriel finally gives in to his desire for Portia. A million songs come to mind, but a song that I hadn’t listened to in ages came to me while I was writing. A piece by Yanni, ONE MAN’S DREAM, felt so perfect for this strong man giving in to what really is a dream to him.
Later in the book, when both Portia and Ariel’s worlds are unraveling, I see a sequence – a back and forth between Bon Jovi’s WHEN WE WERE BEAUTIFUL and David Bowie’s HEROES through chapters 35 – 42. I love the beauty and intensity of both of the songs, Bon Jovi’s being reflective of the adult Portia, and the David Bowie reflective of twelve-year-old Ariel.
I would have to end with SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW, the version by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole for the sheer hopefulness of the song and his buoyant voice. For me, THE GLASS KITCHEN is a book of hope and second chances, but mainly it is a book of finding where you truly belong. I hope you enjoy! xox
LINDA FRANCIS LEE is a native Texan now living on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. The author of twenty-one books that are published in twenty countries, when Linda isn’t writing she loves to run in Central Park and spend time with her husband, family, and friends.