My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Mountain SoloGoodreads Summary
Sixteen-year-old Tess's life has been shaped by her violin.
From the moment she picked up the instrument, it's been clear she isn't like other kids. She is a prodigy, and her life is that of a virtuoso-to-be: constant training, special schools, and a big debut before an audience of thousands. But when she blows her moment in the spotlight, she throws it all away, moves away from New York City to join her father in Montana, and tries to lead a normal life--whatever that is.
Tess has hardly arrived when she is drawn into a mystery: a hunt for the wilderness homestead of a lost pioneer who played violin himself. Maybe, through his story, Tess will find the strength to pick up her violin again.
Jeanette Ingold has a talent for weaving together very different elements to create a whole and unique story, with beautiful writing that will captivate readers. I have actually read this book twice! Both times were at band camp, because I wanted to read a book that had something to do with music, and Mountain Solo definitely fit that category. I actually really enjoyed it both times, and band camp was the perfect place to read it!
I loved how music played such a big part in the book and Tess's life. All of the musical elements were very interesting and realistic.
This book switches between Tess's present, her childhood (the events that got her where she was), and the story of a pioneer violin player. The switches between all of these were seamless, and it all came together so well. I was very impressed by the authors ability to make us feel for Tess and the pioneer.
This is kind of a coming of age story for Tess. She struggles with an overbearing and controlling mother, a father who tries so hard to understand and be there for Tess, a stepmother and stepsister, the possibility of failing, belonging, her struggle over whether or not to give up playing the violin she born playing, and how she can be in control of her own life. There were also animals, music, the wilderness, the past, friendship, and more. It is really a great read for anyone!
Will Tess give up the violin forever and live with her father and step family, or will she have the courage and strength to take charge and try again at her musical career and a better relationship with her mother?
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