The Glass Harmonica

by Louise Marley | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0441007295 Global Overview for this book
Registered by laevina of Denver, Colorado USA on 1/11/2007
Buy from one of these Booksellers: | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon DE | Amazon FR | Amazon IT |
3 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by laevina from Denver, Colorado USA on Thursday, January 11, 2007

Journal Entry 2 by laevina at -- Bookbox, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA on Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Released 10 yrs ago (9/16/2009 UTC) at -- Bookbox, -- By post or by hand/ in person -- USA



off into the wild . . .
into the sci-fi fantasy bookbox it goes
see forum entry here -

Journal Entry 3 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Thursday, September 24, 2009
I'm taking this handsome trade paperback from Laevina's Fantasy/SF/Horror book box. My attention was caught by the cover-art - and by the title, which reminded me of another book called The Glass Harmonica!

Journal Entry 4 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Tuesday, February 16, 2010
I liked this book very much. It took some unusual turns, with two people effectively haunting each other across several centuries via a shared love of the glass harmonica. The 18th-century girl, who played water-filled glasses on the street until she was taken in by none other than Benjamin Franklin to play his prototype "glass armonica", gets some wonderful benefits from her time in the Franklin household, but suffers from a chronic ailment as well. [The text strongly suggests what's causing this, but the author never comes right out and says it.] The modern - wait, make that not-too-distant-future - girl is a world-renowned musician on the glass harmonica, giving concerts at which she plays classical pieces as well as the work of her twin brother. Her brother has a congenital illness that's left him unable to walk. [This mirrors the health problems of a small boy for whom the 18th-century girl harbors tender feelings.] The modern-day storyline takes place in a world where cities seem to be split into themed areas - the residents of any particular area vote on the time period they want to use as the design theme, and everyone who lives there has to adhere to this. Anyone who can't afford to live in such a community winds up in massive tent-cities, considered below the pale and with less chance to get out, even if they have talent.

The storylines sometimes mirror each other and sometimes contrast dramatically. Eilish, in the 18th century, loves the music she makes, and finds that she can sometimes use it to ease mental and physical suffering - even though her own health continues to suffer. Erin, in the 21st century, loves the music as well, but feels isolated by her own fame, by her mother's distant coldness, and by her brother Charlie's obsession with trying to walk again. Themes of love, sacrifice, music-as-healer (and music-as-peril, too) combine with that ghostly connection across the centuries to produce an intriguing story.

I loved the historical detail, much of which was quite accurate, including cameo appearances by a very young Mozart and by other notables of Franklin's day. And while things turned out much better in one timeline than in the other, it's hard to see how it could have gone otherwise - although [spoiler warning - select the whitespace to see] I kept hoping that somehow Erin would figure out what was wrong with Eilish and tell her to just get someone to dust the damned music room so she wouldn't be inhaling lead-crystal dust all the time. The book did make me wish very much that I could hear Erin play Charlie's music!

Thanks for including this one in the bookbox - I really enjoyed it!

[The dual past/present time-stream concept reminded me of Peg Kerr's The Wild Swans, which used a similar structure, though without the mutual-haunting aspect. Similar in mood, though.]

Journal Entry 5 by wingGoryDetailswing at Aspirations Bistro and Bakery in Amherst, New Hampshire USA on Friday, February 19, 2010

Released 9 yrs ago (2/19/2010 UTC) at Aspirations Bistro and Bakery in Amherst, New Hampshire USA



I left this book in a basket in the waiting area of Aspirations Bistro at about 4:30 when I stopped by for some of their wonderful pastries. Hope the finder enjoys the book!

Journal Entry 6 by wingAnonymousFinderwing at Mont Vernon, New Hampshire USA on Wednesday, August 05, 2015
Really enjoyed the book.

Planning to send it on it's way soon!

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