Overture: A Novel
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
, Dec 10, 2008
- 304 pages
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 composer’s 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 father’s 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 Alex’s talent as a composer that brings mother and daughter together—and 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.