Starred Review: ‘Glenn Gould: Sketches of Solitude’

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Title: “Glen Gould: Sketches of Solitude” by Anne Kaufmann, Illustrated by Rudin Koci ( ISBN-13: ISBN:978-0-9868657-9-4), BISAC: Juvenile Fiction / Performing Arts / Music, 134 pages, 15.34 x 22.86 cm, Price: $24.99 U.S./CAN Available: Ingram, Brownridge Publishing, Amazon
“‘Sketches of Solitude’ is a delight to read. If you are fascinated with the genius of Gould as an artist and musician (a fascination shared with thousands of Canadians as well as music-lovers throughout the world) this book is definitely for you. The book is well-researched and grounded in factual episodes of Gould’s life, but it is written with all the compelling closeness of a novel. The illustrations are beautiful expressions of Gould’s emotions and the prose is poetic and evocative. Reading this, you feel as though you have somehow stepped into the mind of the young Glenn Gould and can hear his thoughts and feel his own joy in the creation of the music. If you have never before read about the life and achievements of Glenn Gould, then this is a great place to start, an interesting fact-filled introduction to the world of Glenn Gould (Did you know that Glenn sang to cows? Or that he soaked his hands in hot water before every performance?) If you are already an avid Gould fan, you will enjoy stepping into the fictionalized account of the thoughts and emotions of the musical genius.  We give this five stars … a must-read for Gould fans of all ages!

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Starred Review: In Name Only

InNameOnly

Title: In Name Only

Author: Ellen Gable

Available: Amazon.com, Full Quiver Publishing

  • Paperback: 410 pages
  • Publisher: Full Quiver Publishing (Jun 1 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097367363X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0973673630

This is a historical romance unlike any other. First of all, it is a page-turner. It’s not unusual to read historical novels tend to have plots that drag on and sometimes even take a backseat to the descriptions and detail of the period. This novel has a plot that races on from one emotionally-charged episode to the next, while having a great over-arcing plot that keeps you reading to the end, wondering if the main characters will will their internal battles, overcome the many obstacles and find the happiness they are striving for. Secondly, the book unashamedly counter-cultural, and that makes it strangely refreshing.

The book begins with nineteen-year old Caroline travelling by train with an elderly chaperone. Her father has died and left her penniless, so she is on her way to live with her rich uncle and cousin. Already by the journey’s end Caroline is in trouble – her chaperone has died and she must be taken home by her uncle’s neighbour – a handsome young man named Liam O’Donavan. The young man is smitten with the polite and pretty Caroline and returns to court her. Within a year they are married and Caroline is with child. Her husband is good and loyal, the only problem is they must share their mansion with her husband’s womanizing brother. Caroline hates the charming David O’Donavan, who is prone to drink and gambling. Imagine her horror when Liam dies suddenly, and he begs her by letter to marry his brother for the sake of their child. It seems that David, being the favourite of their father, is owner of the O’Donavan’s estate and that Caroline would be penniless without the help of the charming but lascivious David. Caroline at first refuses, but then enters a marriage of convenience for the sake of their child and on the understanding that it be a marriage “in name only.”

This is when miracles happen … David falls in love with the virtuous Caroline and at the same time has a religious apotheosis … at his lowest point, fully despising himself for his weaknesses, he enters a Catholic church out of desperation and meets Father Flaherty who sees the good in him, and helps him to change. David actually finds the grace to become celibate and realize that there is something much more desirous than the lust for flesh – the love of a soul. But will Caroline be convinced of his love and the great change in his character? Will she be able to forgive him and return his love after his truly sordid past? The reader will agonize over every delightful twist of plot that this story throws at them. This is a truly great story of redemption, uplifting and yet thoroughly entertaining. This story will renew your faith in humanity.

*****Five out of five stars

T. M. Wallace (Author of: Under A Fairy Moon)

http://www.tmwallace.com