Monday, 24 April 2017

A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander

Back Cover: 
A master violinist trained in ViennaRebekah Carrington manages to wheedle her way into an audition with the maestro at the newly formed Nashville Philharmonic. But women are "far too fragile and frail" for the rigors of an orchestra, and Rebekah's hopes are swiftly dashed because the conductor—determined to leave his mark on the world of classical music—bows to public opinion. To make matters worse, Adelicia Acklen Cheatham, mistress of Belmont Mansion and Rebekah's new employer, agrees with him.

Nationally acclaimed conductor Nathaniel Tate Whitcomb is Nashville's new orchestra leader. And despite a reluctant muse—and a strange buzzing and recurring pain in his head—he must finish composing his symphony before the grand opening of the city's new opera hall. But far more pressing, he must finish it for the one who first inspired his love of music—his father, who is dying.

As Tate's ailment worsens, he believes Rebekah can help him finish his symphony. But how do you win back a woman's trust when you've robbed her of her dream?

As music moves us to tears yet makes our hearts soar, A Note Yet Unsung captures the splendor of classical music at a time when women's hard-won strides in cultural issues changed not only world history—but the hearts of men. 

Review: A Note Yet Unsung by Tamera Alexander is the third and final series in the Belmont Mansion trilogy. This series is very well written and each book is a lovely read. I would highly recommend all three books. As for A Note Yet Unsung... it is the best book I have read in a while. Why, you may ask? 

First, the characters of this story really came to life for me. It may sound cliche to say such, but it is true. Rebekah and Nathaniel have passion, drive, insecurities, daring to push the boundaries, love, fear, tempers... a combination of beauty and flaws written together to make almost magically believable individuals. With the story in such capable hands as Rebekah's and Nathaniel's this latest Belmont Mansion novel can't help but be spectacular. 

The second reason I really enjoyed this story was the historical significance. I had no idea that women were not permitted to perform publicly in symphonies/orchestras until after the 19th century. Apparently it was unseemly and considered too provocative for a woman to play outside of her drawing room. Like many feminist rights that we take for granted today, the right to perform in public came at a hefty cost to many brave women who dared push the boundaries of propriety in order to live their dreams. In this story, Rebekah is a masterfully trained violinist, but her rare talent is pushed to the side due to her gender. With a little luck, however, and some daring on her part, she refuses to simply settle as a meek music tutor and strives to become one of the first women in her country to play in an orchestra. While the character of Rebekah is fictional, the fight for this freedom is not, and I imagine that there were women very much like Rebekah who worked hard to change history.

The third reason for my glowing review of this book is the number of story lines. I was fascinated by the different cultures portrayed in this book, the in depth story telling behind the musical scenes, the dark side-story of Rebekah's family, and the mystery behind Nathaniel Tate. I won't say more - don't want to spoil the story! But it all makes for a very entertaining and difficult-to-put-down read. 

I would definitely recommend this novel.

Thank-you to Graf Martin Communications and Baker Publishing Group for a copy of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion.

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