Rob Quillan is quasi-famous. He made the finals of a reality tv show, the producers flew his girlfriend out to the filming of the final performances, but the plane crashed on its way and she died. Still, he was contractually obligated to sing. Rob, as you might imagine, is finding life difficult.
But now he is on his way to Cloud Country, Tennessee. He isn’t quite sure why, anyone who heard his reasons might think him a little lacking in sense. A man told him that he needed to find a song and sing it, use it to cure heartache and grief, and that song is to be found among the Tufa people of Cloud Country.
Of course what Rob doesn’t know is that the Tufa are very different from everyone else. If you’ve read the first book The Hum and the Shiver you’ll know more about that. But you can read this without book 1 so I won’t spoil it in case you are going in fresh.
This is actually somewhat of an easier introduction to the Tufa than Hum because Rob is an outsider, just as the reader is, so unlike Bronwyn, he hasn’t a clue what is going on and only gradually realises the world he has entered.
I do like Bledsoe’s Tufa people, although the odd nods to the Celtic(ish) origins do throw me every now and then. I wondered while reading Hum is Tufa might be an Americanisation of Tuatha and it certainly seems that there is reason to believe that may be the case. Although the phonetic spelling of Ní thuigim ((I don’t understand in Irish) certainly through me, it was only when it was translated that the light went off in my head.
It isn’t a book that I’d be rushing to recommend, but it is one that grows on you, the more you read the more you like it. I know that I really like these Tufa books and will be reading more of them.