Every Little Piece of Me
"The first time they met, Mags saved Ava's life. The second time they met, Ava saved Mags's."
Ava Hart is the most reluctant cast member of a reality TV show based on her big city family's (mostly staged) efforts to run a B&B in small-town Nova Scotia. Every family has its problems, but Ava has grown up seeing her family's every up and down broadcast on national television, after the show becomes an unexpected success for reasons that will take a heavy toll on the Harts.
Mags Kovach is the charismatic lead singer of a struggling Halifax rock band hoping to be the Next Big Thing. For years she's managed to contain her demons and navigate the uglier aspects of being a woman in the music world, but after a devastating loss, she turns her anger on the only person she can: herself.
As their private tragedies continue to set social media and tabloid headlines on fire, their every move subjected to an endless stream of public commentary, it will be their unexpected friendship that will save them. They will push back against the roles they've been forced to play, and take back control of something they thought they'd lost forever — the right to their own stories. (From McClelland & Stewart)
Amy Jones won the 2006 CBC Short Story Prize.
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"I had been thinking about the idea of a fish-out-of-water reality TV show set in Nova Scotia. Reality TV is pretty scripted and edited heavily to give us a certain idea about things and to make things fit into a narrative. But we still watch it and we still buy into the idea that it's reality, even though we know it's not. I wanted to play with that. I thought that fit in well with some of the other bigger themes that I was dealing with around social media and how we construct our own identities.
We have this idea of the way people see us; the way that we actually see ourselves is very different.- Amy Jones
"We have this idea of the way people see us; the way that we actually see ourselves is very different.
"I like people to think about the ways in which they're complicit in this voyeuristic culture that we have and the way they participate in social media and celebrity culture."
From the book
Mags hadn't expected the club to be so crowded. The band's previous shows in New York had been sparsely attended. But Align Above's new album had dropped a few weeks before, and tonight there was an electricity in the air, something that she couldn't explain. In the green room she drank half a fifth of whiskey and smoked three joints before stumbling on stage in a haze, her body hot and cold at the same time, her skin sweaty and goose-pimpled.
"I'm fine," she told Emiko, her manager, who held Mags's face in both her hands and stared into her eyes like she was trying to see into the future. "This is what I need. This is what I do."
She sang. She knows she must have, because people were cheering — so many people, the audience a big blur of colour in front of her, pulsing with vague outlines of human forms. Adrift, she locked eyes with a beautiful Asian boy while she was singing "Barometer"— a song she had written about Sam, so new she had only ever played it live once before — and she was surprised to see that he was singing along, gazing at her with such naked adoration that it made her shiver. "You will rise, I will rise, we will rise, like a barometer," she sang, and his mouth moved with hers, almost as though he was claiming her voice somehow, making the words his own in a way that momentarily startled her, her hand dropping from the mic, her voice fading out before the end of the line.
From Every Little Piece of Me by Amy Jones ©2019. Published by Penguin Random House Canada.
Other books by Amy Jones