Click Here To Purchase THE GRACE NOTE

Author: Brian L. Doe
ISBN: 9780982205679
Publisher: All That Matters Press

The Grace Note, by Brian Doe, explores the themes of love and loss from a man’s perspective. Alex Brogan, a gifted violinist with the New York Philharmonic, has found happiness in his life’s calling as a composer and musician and in his relationship with his fiancée, Charlotte. But, like the butterfly that flits through this novel, happiness is fragile and a tragedy soon shatters the happiness in Alex’s heart.

Mimicking the form of a musical composition, Doe creates variations on his motif of life-love-loss-love-life through interesting and well-developed characters. Contrasting the glittering culture of professional musicians in Manhattan against the atmosphere of a small town in upstate New York, Doe sets the stage for a wide range of emotions to be played out.

A ten year old child, Kelly, comes into his life at time when he needs the challenge she presents to him: “I need a new teacher,” she said frankly. “You can teach me. It’ll be easy; I’m a prodigy.” Despite his vow to never teach violin again, Alex is drawn to the opportunity and this becomes the center point of the next phase of his life. Kelly comes with family, of course, and each character contributes to the texture of the story.

Doe accommodates the non-musically trained reader by including appropriate detail to give credibility to the tone of the book. Readers who are just in it for the relationships and the angst the main character works through as he processes the life changes he experiences will find a satisfying story without being distracted by the musical references.

I did have a little trouble accepting the Stradivarius. Somehow, I just couldn’t picture this rare instrument in the context of this novel and would have preferred a modern-day instrument to reference the quality of the instrument compared to the person playing it. “Across the room, the clock read time for the lesson to be over, but steeped in their collaboration, neither noticed the hour.” This I understood, knowing what it is like to be lost in the making of music. When the making of the music was on the Strad, however, subtle doubt took me out of the reading moment.

The novel did keep my interest throughout and it was refreshing to see intense emotions from a man’s perspective. It is a love story told in an unusual context that is well-supported by good writing and a satisfactory ending.

Click Here To Purchase THE GRACE NOTE