Jessica Bell's novel String Bridge tells the story of Melody, who gave up her life as a musician when she had her daughter with her music promoter husband. At first, it hadn't even felt like a sacrifice, but as Tessa turns three, Melody begins to feel like she has lost an essential part of her identity. The dual role of wife and mother is no longer feeling enough.
Add to that doubts about her husband's fidelity and job stress and you have the recipe for an unhappy life. And Melody can't trust her emotions because she's worried that she may have inherited bipolar disorder from her mother who was diagnosed at around the same age.
Bell does a good job describing Melody's conflicting emotions and her memories of a difficult childhood with a mentally ill parent. There are some tangents here and the ending seemed unnecessarily dramatic, but it's a compelling story that may resonate with women trying to define themselves beyond motherhood.