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Paperback Book Details
  • 10/2014
  • 9781500785529
  • 350 pages
  • $16.00
The Music Makers
The Music Makers by Shirley Russak Wachtel, author of the acclaimed memoir, My Mother’s Shoes, is the story of five individuals living in upstate New York: Virginia, a divorcee embarking on a new career as she worries over the demands of her grown daughters; Joshua, a widower haunted by the memories of his lost wife as he faces a rebellious son; Christine, an artist who struggles with a terrible secret; Adam who finds himself in the first throes of love with the wrong person; and David a Holocaust survivor facing his last days frightened by memory loss as he clings to the tattered images of his past. Their different lives and concerns are suddenly drawn together by the mysterious appearance of a young boy. Heartrending and beautiful, The Music Makers is an unforgettable tale of characters full of life and passion so that coming to the last page, the reader will find not only the end of the book but the end of a friendship as well.
Reviews
Kirkus

THE MUSIC MAKERS

by Shirley Russak Wachtel

KIRKUS REVIEW

In Wachtel’s (My Mother’s Shoes, 2011, etc.) novel, suffering crosses generations, from a teenager in anguished love to an enfeebled survivor of Auschwitz.

“During all events in our lives, both great and small, the moment always passes too swiftly. Something like a dream,” muses Joshua, one of the novel’s conflicted principal characters, as he reflects on past loss. Dreams and memories linger over events both great and small in the lives of two families in upstate New York. Joshua, the middle-aged single father to diffident Adam, is haunted by a moment that ended one life and began another. “I knew the dream had vanished the minute my son uttered his first cry,” he remembers. His father, David, “cries more than he speaks,” forever unable to escape the events of the Holocaust—both those that changed everything in an instant and those that made several years feel like “several lifetimes in the nether world.” In another household, tax attorney Virginia contends with one daughter, Meghan, about to leave for college and another, Christine, who is just past college age. The relationship between Christine, a tattooed sculptor with purple-streaked hair, and her mother is laden with grievances and misunderstanding. Christine manifests her torment through bodily harm, while her mother begins to see a young boy who may be an illusion, a dream himself. Wachtel’s novel is a poignant exploration of the struggles—whether unique, universal, historical or ephemeral, whether happenstance or deliberate—that ebb and flow throughout life. There is a practically visceral ache behind each character’s meditations. (That sensation is particularly harrowing in David’s recollections of his experiences during and just after the war, which shift events to Poland and Prague.) Yet in spite of it all, there is also a sense that, no matter how many dreams and illusions haunt us, life is a transient gift deserving of gratitude. “I’ve been suffering from a tear in the spirit, but still I am in perfect health,” Joshua says. His words reflect what the events around him make clear: Tears in the spirit mend, and being alive means persistent struggle and survival.

A touching study rich with introspection and finely crafted relationships.

Pub Date: Oct. 10th, 2014

ISBN: 978-1500785529

Page count: 350pp

Publisher: CreateSpace

Program: Kirkus Indie

Review Posted Online: Dec. 24th, 2014

 

News
02/14/2015
Meet Shirley Russak Wachtel, the author of THE MUSIC MAKERS

SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 14--3pm

Meet Shirley Russak Wachtel, author of the acclaimed memoir, MY MOTHER'S SHOES, as she presents her new novel, THE MUSIC MAKERS.  Reading followed by a book signing.

Rutgers University Bookstore

100 Somerset Street*    Gateway Transit Bldg

.*New Brunswick, NJ

Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 10/2014
  • 9781500785529
  • 350 pages
  • $16.00

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