What happens when two thirtysomething siblings relive the summer reading programs of their youth in an all-out battle of the books? The race is on as they read by the rules and keep tally on their logs to see who will be the ultimate reader by Labor Day 2010.

July 17, 2010

American Music, Jane Mendelsohn

"American Music" is on all the Summer 2010 must read lists (despite having been published only in June), so I happily grabbed it at the library. Having lived near the Zildjian Company for most of my life, I was intrigued by how the story of the company and its mystique would be incorporated into the fictional tale.

I'm not a book club kind of person, but every once in a while I read something that I really want to dissect with someone else. Jane Mendelsohn's "American Music" is precisely that kind of book. Flowing between characters living across 400 years of time, each glimpse into their story is like correct fitting a piece into a 5000 piece puzzle. (And, like starting such a large puzzle, starting to read this book is a bit tedious, until you get into the rhythm of the plot).

While I knew these stories had to intersect eventually, Mendelsohn's writing is so strong that it makes the reading of a somewhat obvious plot still enjoyable. The ending wasn't quite what I expected (or wanted), but that in itself only emphasized the underlying (unpreachy) message of the book, that life isn't always what we want or expect, but the act of living that life matters.

1 comment:

  1. I am glad you gave props to the Zildjian company, and only hope Mendelsohn can do for them what she did for Amelia Earhart.