A captivating story of passion and music.

THE NIGHTINGALE'S SONATA

THE MUSICAL ODYSSEY OF LEA LUBOSHUTZ

Biography of a Jewish girl who transcended poverty and prejudice to become an illustrious violin virtuoso.

Flautist Wolf (Musical Gifts or How a Maine Fishing Village Became a Center for Great Music, 2011, etc.), co-founder of Bay Chamber Concerts and former executive director of the New England Foundation for the Arts, grew up hearing tales about his famous grandmother, Lea Luboshutz (1885-1965). Those tales—some incomplete, some contradicted by other family members’ versions of events—piqued the author’s curiosity. Urged by his mother to “tell the story,” he mined boxes of letters and clippings, archival documents, diaries, memoirs, and histories to convey, in a sensitive, perceptive biography, the improbable truth about Luboshutz and her emergence from a tumultuous world. She grew up in Odessa, where Jews were forced to live. Her father, certain that she was a musical prodigy, began violin lessons when she was 4; at the age of 5, she was performing for neighbors and at school. At 8, she won a scholarship for private lessons with a prominent teacher; at 14, she entered the Moscow Conservatory, invited by an influential musician who heard her play in Odessa. Luboshutz’s career, Wolf discovered, was punctuated by “amazing good fortune” in the form of generous patrons who provided money and support, not only to her, but also family members. Among them, none was as significant as Onissim Goldovsky, a brilliant pianist, lawyer, and writer, “a true Renaissance man” who, at the time he met 18-year-old Luboshutz, was 38 and married. She admitted being mesmerized by Goldovsky, and by 1906, she was pregnant with his child. Thereafter, the couple lived together for extended periods and had two more children, while Goldovsky continued to maintain “another domestic reality” with his unsuspecting wife. A scandalous personal life, Russia’s roiling political upheavals, and virulent anti-Semitism did not hinder Luboshutz’s career: Celebrated wherever she performed, she came to the attention of impresario Sol Hurok and immigrated to the U.S. in 1927, where her reputation soared.

A captivating story of passion and music.

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-64313-067-5

Page Count: 336

Publisher: Pegasus

Review Posted Online: March 25, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2019

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Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

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  • New York Times Bestseller

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UNTAMED

More life reflections from the bestselling author on themes of societal captivity and the catharsis of personal freedom.

In her third book, Doyle (Love Warrior, 2016, etc.) begins with a life-changing event. “Four years ago,” she writes, “married to the father of my three children, I fell in love with a woman.” That woman, Abby Wambach, would become her wife. Emblematically arranged into three sections—“Caged,” “Keys,” “Freedom”—the narrative offers, among other elements, vignettes about the soulful author’s girlhood, when she was bulimic and felt like a zoo animal, a “caged girl made for wide-open skies.” She followed the path that seemed right and appropriate based on her Catholic upbringing and adolescent conditioning. After a downward spiral into “drinking, drugging, and purging,” Doyle found sobriety and the authentic self she’d been suppressing. Still, there was trouble: Straining an already troubled marriage was her husband’s infidelity, which eventually led to life-altering choices and the discovery of a love she’d never experienced before. Throughout the book, Doyle remains open and candid, whether she’s admitting to rigging a high school homecoming court election or denouncing the doting perfectionism of “cream cheese parenting,” which is about “giving your children the best of everything.” The author’s fears and concerns are often mirrored by real-world issues: gender roles and bias, white privilege, racism, and religion-fueled homophobia and hypocrisy. Some stories merely skim the surface of larger issues, but Doyle revisits them in later sections and digs deeper, using friends and familial references to personify their impact on her life, both past and present. Shorter pieces, some only a page in length, manage to effectively translate an emotional gut punch, as when Doyle’s therapist called her blooming extramarital lesbian love a “dangerous distraction.” Ultimately, the narrative is an in-depth look at a courageous woman eager to share the wealth of her experiences by embracing vulnerability and reclaiming her inner strength and resiliency.

Doyle offers another lucid, inspiring chronicle of female empowerment and the rewards of self-awareness and renewal.

Pub Date: March 10, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-0125-8

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: Dec. 22, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2020

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An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

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BECOMING

The former first lady opens up about her early life, her journey to the White House, and the eight history-making years that followed.

It’s not surprising that Obama grew up a rambunctious kid with a stubborn streak and an “I’ll show you” attitude. After all, it takes a special kind of moxie to survive being the first African-American FLOTUS—and not only survive, but thrive. For eight years, we witnessed the adversity the first family had to face, and now we get to read what it was really like growing up in a working-class family on Chicago’s South Side and ending up at the world’s most famous address. As the author amply shows, her can-do attitude was daunted at times by racism, leaving her wondering if she was good enough. Nevertheless, she persisted, graduating from Chicago’s first magnet high school, Princeton, and Harvard Law School, and pursuing careers in law and the nonprofit world. With her characteristic candor and dry wit, she recounts the story of her fateful meeting with her future husband. Once they were officially a couple, her feelings for him turned into a “toppling blast of lust, gratitude, fulfillment, wonder.” But for someone with a “natural resistance to chaos,” being the wife of an ambitious politician was no small feat, and becoming a mother along the way added another layer of complexity. Throw a presidential campaign into the mix, and even the most assured woman could begin to crack under the pressure. Later, adjusting to life in the White House was a formidable challenge for the self-described “control freak”—not to mention the difficulty of sparing their daughters the ugly side of politics and preserving their privacy as much as possible. Through it all, Obama remained determined to serve with grace and help others through initiatives like the White House garden and her campaign to fight childhood obesity. And even though she deems herself “not a political person,” she shares frank thoughts about the 2016 election.

An engrossing memoir as well as a lively treatise on what extraordinary grace under extraordinary pressure looks like.

Pub Date: Nov. 13, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-5247-6313-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2018

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