A Book Review of Music Has Legs by Denise Ann Goosby
Sometimes the hard part is deciding to take the journey.
This thought came to mind as I neared the completion of this powerful redemptive book, Music Has Legs, by David Haznaw and Marlene Byrne and published by Good Stories Publishing. People from diverse socio-economic backgrounds, cultures, and countries made a choice. Individually, they decided to push past their fears, their pains, and their broken hearts to embrace a new way of living so they could triumphantly move forward and help others.
Together, they changed lives—especially their own– and inspired others to seek ways where they too could impact people for good.
Ostensibly, Music Has Legs tells the story of Guatemalan orphans Juan and Samuel as they navigate a life of hardship, affliction, loneliness, and abuse. Along the way, they encounter Ron and Marlene, Chicago priest and a suburban mother who willingly mentor, shepherd, care, and advocate for them.
Music Has Legs reads like a novel with short vignettes told from the point of view of the main characters. At first, it annoyed me. I was so hooked on the first character’s story—so intrigued by what would happen next. My irritation passed quickly as I settled into the fast- paced narrative that used dialogue and descriptive scenes of the events that brought the characters together.
The mini stories tell a complete, authentic story of people with real problems dealing with other real people with messy, complicated motives and actions. Yet, they did not let being uncomfortable or challenged stop them from serving and loving those around them. The book’s characters not only grab your attention; they grab your heart. You care for them. You want the best for them.
The title and synopsis of the book captured me. As a person who believes in and has seen what the power of music, especially sacred music, can do to encourage others, I knew I would enjoy the story. What I did not expect was the lessons I got from the book.
Music Has Legs reminded me that healing—any kind of healing—is a process. Walls of hurt, anger, bitterness, and sorrow need to be torn down. We all have biases and histories—ways of seeing and doing things that shape how we live. People have caused us pain. Yet, it is people that God often uses to bring healing and restoration to our lives. It is the love of others that can bring healing and freedom and richness to our lives. But only if we and they are willing to begin the journey of doing life together.
In the Gospels, Jesus says to “count the cost.” Well, love costs. But books like Music Has Legs show us that despite the messiness, the pain, the fear, love is powerful. It is worth fighting for because people are worth fighting for. Love is worth the cost.