Tiffany Murray - Diamond Star Halo (3 stars)

Tiffany Murray - Diamond Star Halo


Inspired by her own upbringing at Monmouthshire’s Rockfield Studios – the world’s first residential recording studio whose alumni include Queen, Iggy Pop and Oasis – Tiffany Murray’s second novel is part dysfunctional family drama, part rock’n’roll epic. Spanning 1977 to 2006, the eponymous narrator struggles with an unshakeable adoration for her adopted brother Fred, the biological son of legendary rock star parents who is destined to be in the music industry’s spotlight himself.

Murray’s novel successfully recreates the ecstasy of growing up in a vibrant musical environment through dense, image-laden prose. However, the energy fizzles out towards the book’s conclusion, which seems too neat for a storyline that deals with such an unorthodox – and often unconvincing – love affair. Nevertheless, with a rich, Bowie-heavy soundtrack to hand, Diamond Star Halo is certainly effective in reminding readers of the pivotal ways in which music can create and invoke memories.

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