Review: Sight Reading by Daphne Kalotay

Sight ReadingHazel and Nicholas have what others might view as a cosmopolitan life – Nicholas is a young (at least relatively), much sought-after conductor who has traveled across the world in posts at conservatories and orchestras. He is about the music, to the fault of everything else in his life, including his beautiful wife Hazel and their young daughter Jessie. Hazel is a presence that is both strong in being the glue that keeps the nomadic household together, and ghost-like in being a fading presence when she should be speaking up for herself and her needs. Then there is Remy, a young conservatory violin student who works very hard and is willing to do what it takes to try and break out of always being second best. Daphne Kalotay brings us a character study of these three very different people in her latest book Sight Reading.

After the first few chapters the characters, and this book, could have become a cliche once Nicholas discovers he has fallen in love with Remy. Instead, Kalotay develops them and gives them even more depth as we grow to understand who each of these people are. And what I enjoyed best about this book and Kalotay’s approach is that she does this without lots of drama, it is quiet and subtle, building – much like the symphonies that Nicholas directs and Remy performs. Even during what could be big, dramatic events there is no melodrama, just life and moving on. But it is not just the characters Kalotay develops that make this book so enjoyable to read, for me it is how she weaves Boston into the story (a place I dearly love) and her depth of knowledge of music and instruments that she shares make this a very robust, smart novel.

** I received this book as an uncorrected proof for review from the publisher, Harper.

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It’s Monday, 15 July – What Are You Reading

It’s time for Book Journey’s fabulous weekly posting “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?”

Not too bad a week over here. I finished up Daphne Kalotay’s Sight Reading (which I received for review) and got up a new review. I am still quite behind on my reading for the year so I really need to pick up my pace. Well now that I mention it, I am also behind on reviews, but there will be more coming your way soon.

This week ahead I will continue reading The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult, it has started to pick up to the point where I want to keep reading to the next chapter instead of going to bed. I will also start & Sons by David Gilbert  (which I got from Library Thing’s Early Reviewers).

Here’s my last week in review:

Books Finished:
Sight Reading by Daphne Kalotay

Reviews Posted:
The Age of Miracles

How about you? How was your week last week and what are you reading this week?

Review: The Age of Miracles by Karen Thompson Walker

The Age of MiraclesHeading into adolescence is never an easy time, and for Julia it is made so much worse by the disintegration of her parent’s marriage – oh and add in a world-changing slowing of the Earth’s gravity that is making days and nights longer, first by minutes and then hours/days. This is the world Julia is trying to make her way through in Karen Thompson Walker’s The Age of Miracles.

This book is so much more than a post-apocalyptic story. Not saying it doesn’t have the usual elements – a look at environmental warnings, a class created of us versus them (in this case it is people who operate with the clock regardless of the sun, and those who live with the sun, which means that sometimes they might be starting their day at midnight). But really the story is a coming of age tale of Julia – the trying to fit in, losing someone you thought was your BFF, feeling like an outsider, starting to discover boys, and working out her relationship with her parents (even as she knows a secret about each of them).

I loved this book. It was one of my favorite of the year so far. Thompson Walker wove a lovely story and built up a wonderful cast of characters who moved Julia’s story in a believable way, even in the most unbelievable of situations. What was going on outside was just a perfect backdrop to all that was going on in Julia’s life. And even in all the chaos of adolescence (and catastrophic events), life goes on.

It’s Monday, 8 July – What Are You Reading?

It’s time for Book Journey’s fabulous weekly posting “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?”

Well as I suspected, during the holiday week I took a little holiday from posting and reading. Here on the East Coast it has been very hot, in fact a little too hot for me to sit by the pool (but not too hot for a 6 mile run Saturday morning – marathon training starts soon). So, no new reviews and no books finished this week. But, I have made good progress on Daphne Kalotay’s Sight Reading (which I received for review) and so far I am really enjoying it – of course a book with music, that has a lot of the story based in Boston and I’m in! I am also working on  The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult, it’s my Kindle read of the week. I will continue with both of these this week and expect to finish one, if not both.

Here’s my last week in review:

Books Finished:
None

Reviews Posted:
None

How about you? Did you get a lot of reading done over the holiday weekend, or were you out and about enjoying time with family and friends? What do you plan on reading this week?

It’s Monday, 1 July – What Are You Reading?

TheIt’s time for Book Journey’s fabulous weekly posting “It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?”

Summer is in full swing – it’s already July! Lazy days of summer it is not here, between work, my projects, running and prepping for my first marathon and of course reading and blogging. I like staying active, but I do enjoy a few hours at the pool with a beach read.

This past week I finished up two books – Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris, the final in the Sookie series, and not a moment too soon, I used to find those books fun, but I really lost interest and will not miss the series now that it’s gone. The second book was The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey. I will post a full review in the near future, but I must say that it is my favorite book to date this year.

With the holiday, I am not sure if I will get a lot of reading done, or if I will not read all that much, spending time being out and about enjoying the summer. When I do read, on the docket is Daphne Kalotay’s Sight Reading and The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult

Here’s my last week in review:

Books Finished:
Dead Ever After by Charlaine Harris
The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey

Reviews Posted:
The Lullaby of Polish Girls

How about you? How was your week last week and what are you going to be reading this week? Do you have summer beach reading plans?

As an aside, summertime is the time for beaches, pools, fireflies and ice cream – so here is a photo of my Morkie Sonny with his ice cream cone. Happy July 4th!Sonny cone