by Karen Osborn
Reviewed by Linda:Local novelist Karen Osborn’s newest work looks back to the 1950s and the life of a gifted female musician at a time when few were allowed entry into the male world of professional classical musicians. Newly graduated from the conservatory, cellist Reenie Siesel is given what might be a big break, a chance to fill in for an injured performer with a renowned New York ensemble at a music festival in Rhode Island. She must learn the incredibly difficult music almost overnight and satisfy the brilliant and intimidating ensemble leader and composer, Arthur Cohen. Then there is the tense dynamics of the group itself. And the stunning background of the Newport mansions and their wealthy patrons. Osborn writes beautifully about the power of music over those who perform it, and the difficulties facing musicians, especially female ones.