|A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander|
Book #3 in The Belmont Mansion Series
by Tamera Alexander
Five Stars *****
Reviewed by Carrie Fancett Pagels
I am an unabashed Tamera Alexander fan. So much so, that in my recent interview with the Daily Press, for Valentine's Day, I recommended her novels as an excellent example of Christian historical romance! I find it very hard to wait for each new treasure to release. I blame this fixation on my old critique partner, Kim Taylor, who introduced me to Tamera's lovely books.
A master violinist trained in Vienna, Rebekah Carrington manages to wheedle her way into an audition with the new maestro at the Nashville Philharmonic. But women are "far too fragile and frail" for the rigors of an orchestra, and Rebekah's hopes are swiftly dashed when the conductor—determined to leave his mark on the world of classical music—bows to public opinion. To make matters worse, Adelicia Cheatham, mistress of Belmont Mansion and Rebekah's new employer, agrees with him.
Nationally acclaimed conductor Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb is Nashville's youngest orchestra leader. And despite a reluctant muse and a strange buzzing and recurring pain in his head, he must finish composing his symphony before the grand opening of the city's new symphony hall. Even more pressing, he must finish it for the one who first inspired his love of music—his dying father. As Tate's ailment worsens, he knows Rebekah can help him finish his symphony. But how can he win back her trust when he's robbed her of her dream?
As music moves us to tears yet makes our hearts soar, A Note Yet Unsung captures the splendor of classical music at a time when women's hard-won strides in cultural issues changed not only world history—but the hearts of men.
Warning: There are some spoilers in this review.
Here's my review:
A Richly Textured MasterpieceRebekah returns from Europe after her grandmother dies. With memories of a bad situation with her lecherous stepfather, and feeling as though her mother has abandoned her, Rebekah still must return to claim the inheritance that her grandmother promised her. But her life is about to be turned upside down. With quintessential Tamera Alexander charm, the novel is populated by a host of really lovable characters who she develops to the point that they will become real to the reader. I loved the street urchin, the kitchen workers, and so many more! And she's so great at creating characters that you'll love to hate!
Nathaniel is an amazingly gifted conductor but is impatient and demanding with his musicians. As a reader, and a former psychologist, I kept thinking. . . Oh no. . . He has a secret he's hiding, but which will soon be apparent. I loved his family and how Tamera Alexander beautifully incorporated them into the story. They are so different from the tony Nashville crowd that he is expected to thrill with his orchestra's performances. As Nathaniel's symptoms of hearing loss progress, I was pretty shocked how this was addressed in the story. Beautifully handled. There isn't always a quick fix or even any kind of fix.
Although a large part of this story is about the inequity of Rebekah, a master violinist, being unable to perform in Nashville society, there are multiple layers of story.
Bibliotherapy: Excellent choice for people struggling with hearing loss or with any kind of significant sensory loss. There is hope in this story. There is no pat answer. There's no minimizing. I love that the hero doesn't drift into self-pity for long nor does the heroine treat Nathaniel with pity. Pity doesn't help.
Audiobook: This novel is available in audiobook, also. I purchased the audiobook and began listening to it, but the narrator is someone whose voice I consistently do not enjoy listening to, which was unfortunate. IF you must read by audio, however, I would still recommend the audiobook listen because although you'll have to tune out the narrator's voice somewhat, Ms. Alexander's words and story still shine through. I'd already read the ebook, however, so I wasn't motivated to keep overlooking the narrator's voice.
I downloaded an electronic copy of A Note Yet Unsung from NetGalley. I am under no compulsion to post a positive review.
This novel is available in multiple locations and formats, CBD hardcover, Barnes & Noble paperback, Amazon ebook, and audiobook through Audible.com, and in large print hardcover.
GIVEAWAY: We're giving away a copy of A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander in paperback or ebook or as an audible.com download. Answer this question: Which of Tamera's books is your favorite and why?