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Overtureby Yael Goldstein
Synopses & Reviews
A beautifully written, strikingly accomplished debut novel about love, music, and the complex relationship between mothers and daughters at once a captivating glimpse into lives lived passionately and a subtle exploration of the nature of genius, it is the perfect book for fans of Bel Canto and Amy and Isabelle.
Natasha Darsky is "the most famous violinist since Paganini." Bow in hand, she lights an erotic fire under every piece of music she plays, telling each composers story in a singularly sensuous way. The daughter of a world-renowned art dealer in New York City, Natasha grows up in a world where artistic achievement is accorded the highest value, and her fathers opinion determines the rise and the fall of many an artist. Her prodigious musical talent, discovered when she is a little girl, blossoms at Harvard, where she begins to pursue composition as well as performing. She is soon involved in a passionate love affair with Jean Paul, a young composer whose innovative music is hailed as revolutionary. Under Jean Paul's shadow, Natasha abandons her dream of writing music of her own and turns toward performance. Channeling the frustration and muted fury of this choice into her playing, she creates a sexually charged sound that packs concert halls around the world year after year. Her young daughter, Alex, follows in her celebrated footsteps, but it is Alexs talent as a composer that brings mother and daughter togetherand tears them apart in ways Natasha could hardly have anticipated.
Overture draws readers into the glamorous and competitive world of classical music, capturing its harsh demands and its magical power to move performers and audiences alike. With a mastery rare in a first-time novelist, Yael Goldstein offers a fascinating meditation on the nature of creative brilliance and on the love that binds a mother and daughter even when their personal desires clash.
"A coming-of-age effort by debut novelist Goldstein imagines the fraught relationship between a world-famous violinist and her high-strung daughter. Natasha ('Tasha') Darsky is the daughter of art gallery owners in New York City, riding high the vanguard of modern art. Her remarkable gift at playing the violin provides the crux for her schooling, and once dispatched to Harvard, she comes under the tutelage of imperious music professor Robert Masterson, who encourages Tasha to experiment in composition. She falls in love with Jean Paul Boumedienne, Masterson's brilliant, aristocratic star pupil, whose theory of Sublimated Tonality (that is, to 'spin chaos into control') is revolutionary and sexy. Stifled by his brilliance after two years together, Tasha leaves him to launch her performance career, and her fling with Polish filmmaker Aleksander Pasek yields her daughter, Alex, whom Aleksander wants nothing to do with. Alex grows into a talented musician, and her experiences at an Indiana conservatory provide a too-pat sense of closure. Goldstein's novel is packed with the authentic detail of a musician's life; however, her workaday prose does little to bring life to her characters." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
About the Author
YAEL GOLDSTEIN graduated from Harvard College in 2000. Her fiction and non-fiction have appeared in national magazines and anthologies. She lives in Princeton, New Jersey. Overture is her first novel.
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