Posts Tagged ‘historical fiction’

This one’s for all you music history buffs!

The bestselling author of “White Collar Girl” and “What the Lady Wants” explores one woman’s journey of self-discovery set against the backdrop of a musical and social revolution.
In the middle of the twentieth century, the music of the Mississippi Delta arrived in Chicago, drawing the attention of entrepreneurs like the Chess brothers. Their label, Chess Records, helped shape that music into the Chicago Blues, the soundtrack for a transformative era in American History.

But, for Leeba Groski, Chess Records was just where she worked…

Leeba doesn’t exactly fit in, but her passion for music and her talented piano playing captures the attention of her neighbor, Leonard Chess, who offers her a job at his new record company. What begins as answering phones and filing becomes much more as Leeba comes into her own as a songwriter and befriends performers like Muddy Waters, Howlin Wolf, Chuck Berry, and Etta James. But she also finds love with a black blues guitarist named Red Dupree.

With their relationship unwelcome in segregated Chicago and shunned by Leeba’s Orthodox Jewish family, she and Red soon find themselves in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement and they discover that, in times of struggle, music can bring people together.

There’s a joke about Jews and blacks, and it’s crass and it’s totally not PC and it’s totally wrong for this age we live in, but you know, there’s something there. Not a joke. A synergy that comes from being shunned — although these days, they’re only two groups out of many (and that really sucks).

But this makes me think about that. Because here, you’ve got two people who presumably find a way to love each other despite their huge differences, and despite the crap society’s going to give them. And it’s set against a historic background — The Chess Brothers were real! And I don’t doubt this actually happened, and I don’t doubt that there are people now as there were then who thought it was wrong, and really, what’s so horrible? We’re all humans at the end.

As Jacqueline Carey once so famously wrote, “Love as thou wilt.”

I’m reading this one as soon as I can.


This one looks so good that Susan said she put it on order at her library. Here’s why:

A sweeping historical novel of composer and priest Antonio Vivaldi, a secret wealthy mistress, and their passion for music and each other

Like most 18th century Venetians, Adriana d’Amato adores music-except her strict merchant father has forbidden her to cultivate her gift for the violin. But she refuses to let that stop her from living her dreams and begins sneaking out of her family’s palazzo under the cover of night to take violin lessons from virtuoso violinist and composer Antonio Vivaldi. However, what begins as secret lessons swiftly evolves into a passionate, consuming love affair.

Adriana’s father is intent on seeing her married to a wealthy, prominent member of Venice’s patrician class-and a handsome, charming suitor, whom she knows she could love, only complicates matters-but Vivaldi is a priest, making their relationship forbidden in the eyes of the Church and of society. They both know their affair will end upon Adriana’s marriage, but she cannot anticipate the events that will force Vivaldi to choose between her and his music. The repercussions of his choice-and of Adriana’s own choices-will haunt both of their lives in ways they never imagined.

Spanning more than 30 years of Adriana’s life, Alyssa Palombo’s The Violinist of Venice is a story of passion, music, ambition, and finding the strength to both fall in love and to carry on when it ends.

How’s THAT for something different? Vivaldi!

That is SO up my alley, I am going to put in a plea for my orchestra to include some in an upcoming concert.

We have forbidden love, a historical figure, an epic (thirty years? Heck yeah, that’s an epic)…

I bet Susan will review this once she’s gotten it from the library and read it. Unless a copy comes our way sooner? Because Susan can’t share library books…