An Unfinished Score

By Elise Blackwell

    After her lover--a recognized conductor--dies all at once, a certified musician is blackmailed into finishing the rating for his unfinished viola concerto. As Suzanne struggles to maintain her double lifestyles a mystery from her husband, from her ally, and from the opposite participants of her quartet, she is ate up by way of stories of a wealthy love affair saturated with track. more and more manipulated by way of her lover's widow and tormented by way of the concerto's many layers, Suzanne realizes she may well lose every little thing she's spent her lifestyles operating for.
    a narrative of affection, loss, intercourse, category, and betrayal, this psychologically compelling novel explores the ways in which artists' lives and paintings have interaction, the character of relationships between ladies as pals and rivals, and what it capacity to make a lifetime of artwork.

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To make time move, she counted the ratio of heads to drain chairs within the rows in entrance of them: the theater was once no longer relatively part complete. the start of the most fare urged anything higher. The composer-pianist had damaged aside Bartók’s piano sonatas, filling within the areas together with his personal measures. The track used to be appealing and made new, as if the composer had cracked open a geode, keeping apart the sparkly, faceted items, revealing whatever formerly hidden. yet then the silent girl status close to him onstage made a circle of her mouth and set free a chilling be aware sooner than chanting in a surprisingly excessive monotone: a poem by way of Wallace Stevens, note by way of sluggish note. She may perhaps think Ben, an opera hater who believed that phrases and tune have been incompatible, noncomplementary languages, status indignantly and huffing from the room earlier than the chanter made it during the poem’s first stanza. She felt Alex, who often sat preternatu-rally nonetheless at live shows, draw back within the seat beside her, a spontaneous aversion he lined by way of switching the go of his legs, folding his palms, sinking again extra in his chair as if apprehensive for an additional inch among him and the horror on degree. The reception used to be hung on the second one ground of an identical construction, in a wide convention room whose burgundy, blue, and rose paisley carpet belonged in a movie-theater foyer. The swirling styles and the fast glass of cheap champagne tilted Suzanne’s belief, and he or she felt in poor health relaxed because the room stuffed. She skirted its circumference, sampling hot grapes and cheese and miniature quiches, hoping the nutrients could function ballast. She decided to feel free and fascinating, to be what Alex sought after her to be, to be the girl he had flown from Chicago to be with. whilst she felt a bit larger, and whilst sufficient time had handed that she and Alex may well slip away, she chanced on his head one of the crowd and wove her solution to the guts of the room, the place he was once speaking to a tall brunette in a crimson costume. The younger girl was once beautiful within the method that Suzanne were at twenty-two. Her hair used to be a similar strange color of brown, and he or she had slim hips and breasts of a undeniable form and raise, notwithstanding she used to be part a foot taller than Suzanne had ever was hoping to be. Suzanne felt her pulse in her carotid artery, felt hands of warmth hiking her neck, touching her face, which she knew needs to glance crimson. Jealousy, she named for herself, hoping to douse it via deciding upon it. She felt low to the floor. She’d worn ballet apartments rather than heels a result of lengthy stroll, yet now she had blisters at the backs of her heels besides. She attempted to grin. “I don’t imagine I ever understood that poem until eventually today,” the younger lady used to be telling Alex. The remark might generally have infuriated Alex, yet rather than strolling away, rather than soliciting Suzanne as a mocking conspirator, he mentioned the poem and introduced trivialities approximately Stevens. He used to be smiling greater than usual—it was once whatever he often forgot to do—and smoothing his hair together with his unfastened hand the best way he had these first few occasions he’d spoken to Suzanne.

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