The addictive debut novel about four young friends navigating the cutthroat world of music and their complex relationships with each other, as ambition, passion, and love intertwine over the course of their lives.Brit is the second violinist, a beautiful and quiet orphan; the viola is Henry, a prodigy whos always had it easy; the cellist is Daniel, the oldest, the angry skeptic who sleeps around; and on first violin is Jana, their flinty, resilient leader. Together, they are the Van Ness String Quartet.In The Ensemble, each character picks up the melody, from the groups youthful rocky start through to adulthood. As they navigate devastating failures and wild success, heartbreak and marriage, triumph and loss, betrayal and enduring loyalty, they are always tied togetherby career, by the intensity of their art, by the secrets they carry together, and by choosing each other over and over again.Following these four unforgettable characters, Aja Gabels debut novel gives a behind-the-scenes look into the highly competitive, mysterious world of high-level musicians. The story of Brit and Henry and Daniel and Jana, The Ensemble is a heart-skipping portrait of ambition, friendship, and the tenderness of youth....
|Number of Pages||:||352 pages|
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The Ensemble Reviews
Friendship and relationships over decades- it reminds me of Meg Wolitzer's amazing THE INTERSTINGS centered around music vs camp.
I did enjoy this book! “Jana, Brit, Daniel, Henry. They never would have been friends if they hadn’t needed one another. They would never have found one another except for the art that drew them together. They would never have become family without their love for the music, for one another.” This is the story of four people who meet in their 20’s, it tells the stories of their struggles, love relationships, inner demons, basically life! It was well written and the characters were well developed ...more
It is such a pleasure to read a book like The Ensemble where your heart warms to characters as if they are acquaintances in your own life that slowly turn into friends. Gabel does an excellent job teetering between heartbreak and revelation, mapping the punctuated changes of people as they grow and love and learn from one another. A great book club read, beach read, rainy day read, or any day read!
Aja Gabel’s lyrical novel, The Ensemble, follows the Van Ness Quartet from their time at the conservatory into their adult lives as professional musicians. Brit, Henry, Daniel, and Jana are as unique as the instruments they play, but they are inextricably tied together through their music and their choice to play together in the quartet. For musicians, former musicians, fans of Mozart in the Jungle, this novel is for you.
It’s apparent that Gabel is a musician herself by the incre ...more
Read via a Netgalley ARC
I really, really liked this, despite having like NO musical knowledge. Everything about it was just so interesting!