Music and hockey are clumsily juxtaposed in an otherwise promising novel.
While she is a piano prodigy, French-Canadian Imogen St. Pierre is also sensitive to noise, to crowds, to social interactions with strangers. Although she loves performing in a trio with Papa and Père, her father and grandfather, the schmoozing and networking leave the 18-year-old Imogen silent and exhausted. During her final year of high school, surrounded by equally privileged and talented students, Imogen tries to decide what will make her happy in what’s predicted to be a glittering future. Does it mean joining an up-and-coming concert music ensemble or going to university? Or is it spending time with the people she loves, her family and her friends? Imogen develops a new friendship with fellow introvert Nathan McCormick, a talented hockey player who has been suspended from playing. Nathan not only allows Imogen to discover what will make her happy, but gives her the strength to fight for her happiness. Although both Imogen and Nathan are prodigies, it is their personalities, not their talents, which connect them. This quiet novel follows Imogen’s slow growth without resorting to loud emotional outbursts or jarring strife, and the relationship between Nathan and Imogen is more friendship than romance. Imogen and Nathan are white; while their school has many international students, all are seemingly white.
Different and moving. (Fiction. 14-18)