American Music (eBook)
From the author of I Was Amelia Earhart, a luminous love story that winds through several generations—told in Jane Mendelsohn’s distinctive mesmerizing style.
At its center are Milo, a severely wounded veteran of the Iraq War confined to a rehabilitation hospital, and Honor, his physical therapist, a former dancer. When Honor touches Milo’s destroyed back, mysterious images from the past appear to each of them, puzzling her and shaking him to the core.
As Milo’s treatment progresses, the images begin to weave together into an intricate, mysterious tapestry of stories. There are Joe and Pearl, a husband and wife in the 1930s whose marriage is tested by Pearl’s bewitching artistic cousin, Vivian. There is the heartrending story of a woman photographer in the 1960s and the shocking theft of her life’s work. The picaresque life of a woman who has a child too young and finds herself always on the move from job to job and man to man. And the story of a man and a woman in seventeenth-century Turkey—a eunuch and a sultan’s concubine—whose forbidden love is captured in music. The stories converge in a symphonic crescendo that reveals the far-flung origins of America’s endlessly romantic soul and exposes the source of Honor and Milo’s own love.
A beautiful mystery and a meditation on love—its power and its limitations—American Music is a brilliantly original novel.
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Jane Mendelsohn is a graduate of Yale University. She is the author of two previous novels, including the New York Times best seller I Was Amelia Earhart. She lives in New York City with her husband and two children.
Praise for American Music…
“Redefines the genre. . . . Exacting, moving, devastating. American Music is a story told in . . . dazzling images.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Unpretentious, moving, intelligent, and fresh. . . . Like Count Basie and His Orchestra, this book swings.” —Elle
“What a captivating storyteller Mendelsohn can be. . . . A romantic story of romantic stories, full of love and longing.” —The Washington Post
“Glorious. . . . An aleph of a novel—a keyhole one looks into and cannot pull away from.” —Los Angeles Times
“Luminous. . . . Intricately plotted and affectingly written. . . . A piercing, magical revelation about the capricious power of disclosed truths to lift us up or take us down.” —The Boston Globe
“If the artist Edward Hopper had been a writer, he might have dreamed up something like the New York-y 1930s sections of Jane Mendelsohn’s American Music, a beautiful bittersweet novel.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“Intriguing. . . . Haunting. . . . Dip[s] boldly into the waters of magical realism. . . . Even though life often plays in a minor key, it can be perfect sometimes anyway.” —The Miami Herald
“In her exquisite, psychologically fluent novels, the actual and imagined merge as Mendelsohn tests the power of stories to define, guide, and sometimes destroy us. Her third novel is an intricate puzzle of haunting, far-reaching, secretly connected love stories…. Sensuously rendered.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Beautifully rendered. . . . [Joe, Pearl, and Vivian’s] story is a heartbreaker, stark in its reality. . . . Powerful. . . . Hard to forget.” —Providence Journal
“Invites the kind of reading we don’t often allow ourselves anymore—that accomplished in one sitting…. Mendelsohn allows each of these stories to arrive at what feels like its natural end, like cymbals allowed to tremble until they gradually come to rest.” —Slate
“Haunting, mystical and beautiful, American Music is written in a uniquely creative style that poignantly and powerfully touches the reader contemplating the gift of music in an American period of history yearning for recovery and renewal.” —Historical Novels Review
“As in her earlier novel, I Was Amelia Earhart, Jane Mendelsohn proves a master of historical context: American history itself is as much a character as those who live and die through it.” —The Charleston Post & Courier
“Jane Mendelsohn as produced a taut, sui generis story that should be a major contender for novel of the year. . . . Brilliant, stunning and divinely thought-provoking.” —Sacramento Book Review