The Music Teacher

Bob Sennett. Lethe (www.lethepressbooks.com), $18 trade paper (298p) ISBN 978-1-59021-145-8
Music is the tie that binds all during love and war in Sennett’s debut novel, which opens in Dublin in 1910. Joe Dooley’s life is devoted to music and the strength of connections formed during his coming of age. As he rises in the ranks of the British military, he searches for meaning in his friendships as well as for that one special person with whom to share his life. Joe’s gentle and thought-provoking story centers around three distinctly different men who weave in and out of his life and are always close to his heart. Overly rich with detail and dense with directionless structure, the narrative focuses less on the development of romance and more on the introspection of a Catholic Irishman growing up in a time of political and civil unrest. Stilted dialect (“I am counting on your helping me and your sister in this matter”) wars with sweeping, expansive exposition in this tender labor of love. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 10/14/2013
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