The violin is an elegant instrument that takes practice and discipline. If you are interested in music or are a musician I recommend these five fiction novels that feature violin in their plots.
Ayumi’s Violin by Mariko Tatsumoto
In 1959 Ayumi’s mom dies, the twelve-year-old leaves her home in Japan to go find her American father. Being biracial, she is confronted with a racist mother and a half-sister who resents her. She wants to be accepted by her new family in America. Only her music helps, whenever she plays the violin. When she is deprived of her violin, she does something unthinkable.
Gone: A Girl, A Violin, A Life Unstrung by Min Kym
Seven-year-old prodigy, Min Kym attends the Purcell School of Music. At the age of eleven, she won the international prize. She worked with many kinds of violins but hasn’t found the one that truly speaks to her. Then at the age of twenty-one, she finds it, a rare 1696 Stradivarius that is made for her. Soon she plans to record at the Brahms concerto and have a world tour. However, her plans come crashing down when her violin is stolen in a train station cafe. She couldn’t play not since then. This memoir reflects on who she was and the isolation and bonds played with the idea of humanity vs the instrument.
Hanna Hashimoto, Sixth Violin by Chieri Uegaki and Qin Leng
This novel is a picture book for kids who may show interest in the violin and has an encouraging lesson. Hana has signed up to play the violin at a talent show, but she’s only a beginner. With only three lessons under her belt of experience, her brothers claim she isn’t “good enough”. But, she remembers her grandfather, Ojiichan, when he played the violin while she visited him in Japan she was moved. So she practices, but will her doubts get the best of her before the concert?
The Auschwitz Violin by Maria Angels Anglada
The translator is Martha Tennent of this acclaimed novel that is a bestseller. It is the winter of 1991 at a concert in Krakow an older violinist meets a fellow musician who asks curiously how she got her violin.
This haunting novel is beautiful when explaining the craft and struggle of Daniel, who is a crafter of violins. He is imprisoned in Auschwitz concentration camp. When his humanity is slipping, a mysterious stranger changes everything. Soon his skills are revealed to two dangerous men who make a dangerous wager. If Daniel can build a violin in a few days to the Kommandant, he wins a case of fine burgundy if not, the camp doctor will torture him.
The Violinist of Venice by Alyssa Palombo
It’s the eighteenth century, Adriana d’ Amato loves music. However, her merchant father forbids her to cultivate any violin skills or have an interest. Yet she manages to find a way to sneak out for night lessons. Her instructor, the priest, composer and violinist, Antonio Vivaldi. Passions erupt between the two, and not just the love for the violin. Soon sparks create this passionate affair, but it is seen as sinful in the eyes of the church and society. Will Vivaldi choose between Adriana or his music?
I hope for the musician and bookworms out there that these five novels will be a wonder to read and learn more about the violin. Whether you enjoy a historical, romance, or recommend a children’s book. There is always something for everyone.
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