The Virtuoso

Virginia Burges. Satin Publishing, $15.99 trade paper (458p) ISBN 978-0-9930777-1-5
Burges’s powerful novel is about one woman’s struggle to find purpose and love after a tragic loss. Talented violinist Isabelle Bryant, known to the critics as Beethoven’s Babe, can no longer handle the instrument after her husband attacks her. With the support of her good friend Hortense, a successful jazz musician, and her manager, Gerry, she embarks on a new life, writing for a music magazine, and reconnecting with her estranged sister and father. Along the way, she uncovers a shocking truth about her ex-husband and begins a romance with a successful businessman named Daniel. Their relationship is tested by Isabelle’s trust issues and Daniel’s location, as well as a previous girlfriend, but with their friends’ help, they work through their problems and strengthen their bond. Isabelle also begins to overcome her fear of public speaking and gives talks about overcoming obstacles, ultimately finding her purpose in musical education. The novel is rich in music and musical history; on a research trip to write about Beethoven, Isabelle walks through his former homes and performance halls, and there is much discussion about a modern attempt to re-create the Stradivarius violin. A page-turner and moving journey filled with romance, Burges’s novel shows the possibilities of moving on beyond tragedy. (BookLife)
Reviewed on: 11/14/2016
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