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Ingold, Jeanette. Mountain Solo.

INGOLD, Jeanette. Mountain solo. Harcourt. 309p. bibliog. c2003. 0-15-205358-1. $6.95. JS

To quote the review of the hardcover in KLIATT, July 2003: Tess is a child prodigy on the violin, unusual since she is growing up far away from cultural centers--she lives near Missoula, Montana, where her father is a veterinarian. Tess's mother recognizes her little girl's talent early on and pushes for all the right teachers, even to the point of taking Tess to live in New York City, where she can attend special schools, even though this means destroying their little family. The story focuses (and begins) at a point in Tess's life when she is realizing her dreams, performing at 17 with a German symphony; she plays poorly and then faces a kind of emotional breakdown. The subsequent story unfolds, telling how Tess got to this place in her life and her career as a musician, and where she will go from this failure. She leaves her mother and goes to live with her father in Montana, with his new family, and enjoys a "normal" life for a change, without spending hours every day practicing her violin. Her stepmother is a historian who is interested in early homesteads in Montana, and this links to a story about a violin player, Frederick, who homesteaded there in the early part of the 20th century. Hiking in the mountains, uncovering some facts about Frederick's life, helps Tess understand what she wants for herself--she chooses to continue as a musician, back in New York City. but on her own terms.

The strength of the story is the development of Tess's character, her love of music, the choices she is forced to make because of her talent. The bibliography lists books about music and musicians and also books about Montana history and archaeology. Claire Rosser, KLIATT

J--Recommended for junior high school students. The contents are of particular interest to young adolescents and their teachers.

S--Recommended for senior high school students.
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Author:Rosser, Claire
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 2005
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