by Brendan Slocumb
Reviewed by Linda:
Anyone who doesn't believe that racism reaches into the "upper echelons of the arts" should read this eye-opening novel about an African American violinist who is a classical music protege. (The author, a music professor and violinist, explains in an afterword that he personally experienced many of the racist behaviors in the book as he sought to sought to enter this overwhelmingly white world.) Growing up Black in rural North Carolina, Ray McMillian’s life is already mapped out. But Ray has a gift and a dream - he’s determined to become a world-class professional violinist, and nothing will stand in his way. Not his mother, who wants him to stop making such a racket; not the fact that he can’t afford a violin suitable to his talents; not even the racism he faces every step of the way. The plot moves swiftly when after being gifted a valuable instrument it is stolen and a ransom note for $5 million is left in its place. Lots of insider info about the classical music world.