The Final Revival of Opal & Nev book review by Duffythewriter

A fiction so perfect I thought it was a music bio!

A poignant fictional oral history of a rock ‘n’ roll duo who shot to fame in 1970s New York, and the secret that lies at the peak of their stardom.

Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, a Black punk artist before her time. Despite her unconventional looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her one night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together.

In early seventies New York City, just as she’s finding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal’s bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially Black women, who dare to speak their truth.

Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duo’s most politicized chapter, but as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatens everything. 

Provocative and haunting, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev introduces a bold new name in contemporary fiction and a heroine the likes of which we’ve not seen in storytelling.

Duffy’s Thoughts on The Final Revival of Opal & Nev

I picked up The Final Revival of Opal & Nev without so much as a glance at the press release or book blurb. The cover looked cool and I was looking for something completely different to lose myself in. A book that wasn’t murder, suspense, or true crime.

This book is unique and wonderful.

I was two chapters in, and whilst reading, I kept thinking, who is Opal Jewel? I can’t picture her? What did she sing? Shall I text my Dad? I’m pretty sure he would know who she was? I got so frustrated at not being able to place her, that I put down the book and did a Google search. It was only then I realised that Opal Jewel and her musical journey was that of fiction.

That is how well this book is written. Dawnie Walton is a freakin’ genius.

The Final Revival of Opal & Nev plays out like an exceptional music biography written by S. Sunny Shelton, who has her own personal ties to Opal Jewel and the Rock & Roll music scene of 70’s New York. The cast of supporting characters has been created with the same level of detail as that of Opal and Nev, that you can’t help but forget that this is a work of fiction. Opals journey from being discovered, the rocket to superstardom and then the inevitable crash is one that had me hooked to the last page.

I completely immersed myself in this book and its absorbing and rich prose. The words of Opal Jewel are as lyrical as her songs. If you love music, particularly the 70’s era and are looking for a book to really lose yourself, I never forget. The Final Revival Of Opal & Nev should be in your cart today.

Looking forward to what Dawnie Walton delivers next!

The final revival of opal & nev
Published by Hachette and available now at Booktopia and all good book stores

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