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Formats
softcover Details
  • 978-1-5255-7636-2
  • 288 pages
  • $17.99
Prairie Sonata
Richly textured and lyrically written, Prairie Sonata is the story of Mira Adler and her journey from innocence to experience. Mira grows up in post–World War II Canada, in a close-knit community founded by secular Jews from Eastern Europe. At the heart of her journey is her friendship with her teacher, Chaver B (Mr. B), a recent immigrant from Prague who is mysterious and intriguing and who Mira believes harbours a painful secret. Chaver B becomes deeply entwined in Mira’s life, and their relationship evolves, especially after he offers to teach her to play the violin. Little by little, Mira chips away at Chaver B’s past and soon comes to the shocking realization of what brought him to Manitoba. What she learns about his history both outrages and saddens her, yet she cannot stop herself from uncovering the truth about his life. While Chaver B attempts to reconcile his feelings of guilt, Mira struggles to understand a world that seems to be vastly different from the nurturing and untroubled one in which she grows up. And despite what she learns about Chaver B, herself, and the world around her, when she is older, Mira yearns for the chance to go back to her childhood. A coming-of-age story about music, love, friendship, community, and religion, Prairie Sonata is a fascinating tale that will resonate with and captivate the reader.
Plot/Idea: 10 out of 10
Originality: 9 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 10 out of 10
Overall: 9.50 out of 10

Assessment:

Plot: Rabin has crafted a moving, delicate novel about grief, community, and coming to terms with the horrors of history while finding solace within family, music, art, and food. Her lyrical words and excellent command of the language paint a masterpiece that not only exemplifies Jewish culture, but also the weariness and recovery of the human spirit.

Prose: Rabin's prose is beautiful, and the book reads like a painting. She especially expertly presents the feelings and sensations of producing music, as well as those of loss, grief, and love. It is a delight to read.

Originality: Although post-WWII books are plentiful, one that encompasses the unique culture and social etiquette of Jewish life in a rural Canadian prairie is not as common. The authentic relationship between an emotionally worn teacher and an enthusiastic, curious student makes for a new experience for the reader.

Character/Execution: Rabin's characters brilliantly come to life. The reader will feel their pain, their sorrow, their joy, and their excitement.

Date Submitted: July 29, 2021

Formats
softcover Details
  • 978-1-5255-7636-2
  • 288 pages
  • $17.99

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