I listened to this twelve-CD novel in my car. I’ve just noticed on the cover that Mark Helprin is the “#1 New York Times Bestselling Author of Winter’s Tale.” How weird is that, me having just finished Jeanette Winterson’s retelling of Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale?
I probably put this one on my list based on a mention in a “Briefly Noted” column in The New Yorker magazine. The word “Paris” and the fact that the protagonist is a cellist would have done it.
I found the descriptions of Paris and the feelings the cellist (Jules) expresses about music to be everything I could have wished for. Beyond that, the plot is quite a ride with several twists. Jules’s past and the great love he has for his family drive his actions ever onward to the book’s conclusion.
I don’t want to let slip any spoilers, but I will say that Jules’s reminiscence about his spouse’s death moved me. We know his wife is dead well in advance of learning the details. This is a well-crafted story, even if one doesn’t quite believe in recurrent cases in one man’s life of love at first sight. I’m glad I read it.