Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Book Review: The Silver Swan by Elena Deblanco
Author: Elena Delbanco
Series: N/A
Publisher: Other Press
Release Date: May 19th 2015
My Rating: 3.5 cups
Source: Netgalley
Blurb (from Goodreads):
A debut novel about a daughter grappling with the legacy of her famous and imposing cellist father, the secrets he has hidden from her, and the fate of his great Stradivarius cello.

Alexander Feldmann is a revered and sought-after performer whose prodigious talent, striking good looks and worldly charm prove irresistible to all who hear and encounter him. After years of searching, he acquires a glorious cello, the Silver Swan, a rare Stradivarius masterpiece long lost to the world of music.

Mariana is Alexander’s only child and the maestro has large ambitions for her. By the age of nineteen she emerges as a star cellist in her own right, and is seen as the inheritor of her father's genius. There are whispers that her career might well outpace his. Mariana believes the Silver Swan will one day be hers, until a stunning secret from her father’s past entwines her fate and that of the Silver Swan in ways she could never have imagined.

*Disclaimer: I received this e-galley from Netgalley and Other Press in exchange for an honest review.

The first thing that appealed to me about the book was that it had nothing to do with what I normally read. I haven't read many books about musicians so far. And when I read an excerpt of this book something about the tone of the story and the narrative appealed to me.

There's a cinematic feel to this book. The way the scenes are put together, with the past and present mingling gave me the feeling of not only reading, but also watching a movie. I thought the way the author wrote the flashback scenes was very well done. I did, however, get confused at some point. This was because, although I felt that they explained a lot about Mariana and Claude's personalities, some of the flashbacks were introduced with no warning whatsoever. So it took a while to realize I was reading a memory.

Man, I felt for Mariana the entire time I read the book. She was ignored by her mother, treated like a soon-to-be clone by her father while she was growing up, then as a maid while he was old, her ex was a creep, and her love interest is...well, he's not that good either. Oh, and let's not forget the big hits her father delivered after he died, with his will and the "after I die" letter. I kept wondering how is it that she was sane, poor woman.

The novel is told from both Mariana and Claude's POVs. There were some aspects of the story that make more sense when told this way. It also helped me tolerate Claude more than I would've had there been only one POV. Claude wasn't the easiest character to like, but getting his side of the story made me understand why he was acting a certain way.

I liked this novel. I would've wanted a bit more time spent in the present time and less in the flashbacks, which were at times distracting. It was a quick read and if you're in the mood for something new, this might be the read for you.

Final Rating: 3.5 cups

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Because the story was different from what I normally read, I'll give it 2 Jolly Rogers.

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  1. This book sound right up my alley. I'll have to keep an eye out for it!

    Great review.

    Terri M., the Director
    Second Run Reviews

    1. Thank you! I can't wait for you to read it and see what you think about it :)


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