Friday, February 18, 2011

The Miracle of Music by Romel Joseph

Fascinating first person account of Romel Joseph's life.  All proceeds from book sales are donated to build the Haiti Performing Arts Center.

Romel Joseph is known for being a violin virtuoso.  An eye infection at birth left him legally blind, yet he pulled his way through life after finding his love of music at an early age.  We follow Joseph's life from birth to present day, with the crescendo being on his burial and survival during the earthquake in Haiti just last year.

I've never heard of Romel Joseph.  I suppose that makes me uneducated and uncultured, but I could tell you anything about him now.  His writing is smart and witty.  His character shows through the words on the pages.  I found myself captivated with his life.  There are ups and downs, both severe, but he pulls through with the same stoicism. 

Along the way, I learned more about Haiti than I ever dreamed possible to know.  I'll be honest, I drowned a bit of the politics out in my mind as I read them.  Politics just aren't my thing.  Joseph did a great job of making the politics interesting though by infusing all the juicy scandal that goes along with it.

Of course, I strongly suggest everyone buy this book simply because the proceeds go to a good cause.  Rebuilding Haiti is a long, drawn out process and I believe music is important.  Those who enjoy autobiographies or memoirs will find this an enjoyable read.  For me, the most interesting part were the photos included.  They're absolutely devastating and mind-boggling.

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