Narrator Luna Kane is on a grief-fueled mission: find elusive guitar god Jimmy Page and ask if he is her father. Luna packs her bags for the misty mountains and becomes a traveler of both time and space, walking a precarious line between personal growth and self-destruction on her pilgrimage from North Carolina to Page’s home(s) in England. Luna’s quest is as flawed as Quixote’s, yet she ultimately finds the answers–and family–she seeks.
SEARCHING FOR JIMMY PAGE by Christy Alexander Halberg is set in 1988 after the death of Luna’s great-grandfather propels teenage Luna to investigate her mother’s suicide years earlier. The identity of Luna’s father is a mystery. Single mom Claudia won’t say but hints it might be guitar wizard Jimmy Page. But Claudia battles mental illness, often locking herself in her bedroom and blasting the offbeat Zep deep track, “Four Sticks” on her stereo, much to her young daughter’s bewilderment and terror. One day Claudia retreats to her bedroom armed with her father’s old service revolver and doesn’t come out. Hallberg looks at the devastation of mental illness and suicide through the eyes of a child, a young adult, a parent, and even a grandparent, which minimizes some family transgressions while amplifying others.
Hallberg’s masterful storytelling skills are further elevated by her beautifully crafted prose. Flowery language can pull readers out of a story’s flow, but Hallberg uses it to deftly draw readers deeper into the mystique of Led Zeppelin at the height of the band’s power. SEARCHING FOR JIMMY PAGE is woven through with Zeppelin mythology that fans of the band will love. But it’s Luna’s humanity and heartbreak that ultimately strikes a chord and resonates with readers. While the coda feels a bit forced, the rest of SEARCHING FOR JIMMY PAGE is an emotional journey as captivating as any symphony–or hard rock anthem.
In SEARCHING FOR JIMMY PAGE skilled author Christy Alexander Hallberg creates a tense family drama–set against a background of early Led Zeppelin albums–about grief in the wake of a young mother’s suicide. A moving family drama with a rock ‘n’ roll heart.
~Rob Errera for IndieReader