Because you just can’t enjoy every book #the ensemble @chesapeakepubliclibrary @absltmom

We are just not destined to like every book we pick up. It’s not in the cards nor is it ever in a person’s persona to like what everyone else does. It might make for a quieter more docile society, but we all have different opinions, different ways of looking at things, and that is what makes us unique in our way. With that in mind, I am bringing you my review of,

The Ensemble by Aja Gabel

For me this book was like taking a ride on the NY subway system. There were moments of light but most of it was traveling in the dark. Following four people, members of a string quartet, one of whom was gifted and the rest very talented was a dull experience. To me, it lacked life, it lacked vibrancy, the exhilaration one feels when you have found your place in the arts.

I do have a music background and I do have some experience with working with gifted and talented people spending three weeks for three summers at Lincoln Center, and then having the artists come to my school and work with my students. It was a terrific experience unlike the one I had reading this book.

This book was dull, repetitious, and frankly never seemed to engender in me any feelings about the characters. The talented artists I met, while at Lincoln Center had a joie de vie, a kind of thirst and drive for life. They were fun, full of that New York swag, and their love for their art was so well evidenced. The characters in this book, seemed to mope through their days, going from one semi disaster to another never really seeming to be happy or even lost in their music. At times, I wondered if they really even liked what they were so driven to do? It was a story of sadness, bleakness, and melancholy.I am not so naive to believe that all artists are successful, that probably most suffer for not being recognized, or feeling accomplished in their trade. However, these artists never seemed to be bolstered by their successes but always seemed to wallow in the doldrums.

I do realize that the author has extensive knowledge in music, and I am sure there are others who saw merit and joy in reading of these characters. I will give you that, it was quite a character study, just not about any characters I would care to know.

So sad to say this was like a piece of Bach music, very long on moodiness with not a ray of sunshine. Whenever I played his music, (which I tried not to do that often), I felt like I was in a graveyard saying goodbye to a departed soul. However, I am quite happy to say goodbye to this book. It could have been quite something but it got lost, very lost along the way., but it does have a gorgeous cover.
This was a buddy read with Jan, and we both found this book to be forlorn and full of anguish.

4 thoughts on “Because you just can’t enjoy every book #the ensemble @chesapeakepubliclibrary @absltmom

  1. Marialyce, your music background resonates strongly throughout your review, and that’s a wonderful thing! I feel I understand perfectly why this book didn’t do the same for you. Well done!

    What an extraordinary moment that must have been to be at Lincoln Center for three weeks! When I lived in New York City (many, many years ago), I lived two blocks from Lincoln Center and spent so much time hanging out there. It was such a vibrant area of the city and that was just from an outsiders view. I love getting these tidbits about you each time you review a book. It’s one of the things I love about your reviews…they so express your personal points of view.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It was something I really looked forward to for those three summers I was able to go. I loved the area around Lincoln Center as it always seemed so full of life. It bounced with joy and always there was music. Getting to meet artists and those who aspired to be an artist was a time I fondly remember. Thank you for your very kind words and understanding, Jonetta!

      Liked by 1 person

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