This luminous love story centers on Milo, a severely wounded veteran of the Iraq war confined to a rehabilitation hospital, and Honor, his physical therapist. When Honor touches Milo’s destroyed back, mysterious images from the past appear to each of them, puzzling her and shaking him to the core.
As Milo’s treatment progresses, the images begin to weave together in an intricate, mysterious tapestry of stories that winds through several generations. There are Joe and Pearl, a husband and wife in the 1930s, whose marriage is tested by Pearl’s bewitching artistic cousin, Vivian. There is the heartrending story of a woman photographer in the 1960s and the shocking theft of her life’s work. And the story of a man and woman in 17th-century Turkey—a eunuch and a sultan’s concubine—whose forbidden love is captured in music. The stories converge in a symphonic crescendo that reveals the far-flung origins of America’s endlessly romantic soul and exposes the source of Honor and Milo’s own love.
A beautiful mystery and a meditation on love—its power and limitations—American Music is a brilliantly original novel told in Jane Mendelsohn’s distinctive, mesmerizing style.
“An intricate puzzle of haunting, far-reaching, secretly connected love stories….Each milieu is sensuously rendered, while music, especially jazz, serves as the unifying force, and the key to surviving epic desire and loss.” (Booklist)
“Luminous….[The] relationship between a wounded Iraq War veteran and his physical therapist releases a torrent of memories, dreams, and alternate lives….A magically consoling reminder that beneath the starkest cases of wounding and healing is the music of love lost and found.” (Kirkus Reviews)
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