Plot/Idea: This is an engaging story that combines music and moxie while exploring the impact of loss. Markvart undertakes a significant and difficult journey; her story holds the reader's interest as she confronts challenges head-on, emerging as a more empowered and self-fulfilled individual in the process.
Prose: Markvart's conveys her love for music in a moving and elegant manner, while her emotional pain, anxiety, and the often comfortable moments she endures are palpable on the page.
Originality: Somewhere in the Music, I'll Find Me is a unique and personal story about music, grief, and the pressures of pursuing a dream that will undoubtedly inspire readers.
Character/Execution: Markvart has done a marvelous job of sorting through her own tumultuous past and is very much the center of her own story. Additional characters are organically portrayed and true to life.
Blurb: Somewhere in the Music, I'll Find Me is the moving and candid story of an aspiring musician whose journey takes her from rock bands to Broadway.
Date Submitted: October 07, 2022
Singer and songwriter Markvart tells of grappling with anxiety while pursuing her music-making dreams in this debut autobiography.
Growing up in the tiny town of Waterloo, Wisconsin, in the 1970s, Markvart was drawn to music from an early age. Her mother owned every album ever recorded by Johnny Mathis, and she and the author would lip-sync along to pop hits and cast recordings of musicals. Her mom strongly encouraged her interest in becoming a singer. “Dream as big as you want,” the author recalls her mother saying. “You have a great voice, just like your grandfather. Keep practicing your piano. Someday you’ll be discovered and be famous like Elton John!” The author took these encouragements to heart, but life wasn’t quite as simple as pop songs made it seem. Markvart’s parents had a difficult marriage, the author says, complicated in part by her mother’s struggles with anxiety and bipolar disorder. In this memoir, Markvart tracks her decadeslong attempt to achieve her (and her mother’s) dream, from fronting a Minneapolis rock band as a teenager to auditioning for the touring company of Rent. She also writes of her struggles with her own mental health issues. Her prose is lively and confessional, as when she describes a time when she took a job working at a newspaper between gigs: “I showed up each day like an imposter in someone else’s dream…the corporate world of alabaster-colored walls and wood office desks was their life, dreams, hopes, and passions—not mine.” The book feels somewhat overlong at more than 400 pages, but Markvart’s storytelling chops are impressive as she deals candidly with issues of grief, mental illness, and the ups and downs of trying to make it as an artist. In the end, it’s also an engaging meditation on a daughter’s decadeslong quest to live up to her mother’s ambitions for her.
An often bold, if lengthy, memoir about wants, fears, and rock ’n’ roll.