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The Reluctant Conductor

The Reluctant Conductor

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Author/Editor: Turner, Tim - - Gorbaty, Moisey

Binding: HARD COVER BOOKS
YearMonthDay of Publication: 20231109
Standardized Book Category: Historical - 20th Century - World War II & Holocaust
Language: English
Page Count: 00242

Publisher Marketing:

THE WRITER OF THE EXTRAORDINARY, CRITICALLY ACCLAIMED PLAY OUT LATE EMERGES WITH A POWERFUL, EMOTIONALLY REVERBERANT DEBUT NOVEL THAT CAPTURES THE HARDSHIP, OPPRESSION AND HOPE OF A JEWISH MERCHANT'S LIFE BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER WORLD WAR II IN THE USSR.

Feeling stifled as a Jew living in a Moldovan shtetl, violinist Elazar just wants to find love and eventually succeed his father as conductor of the family band and hardware business. But that could take years, and in 1922 Kalarash, there are very few girls his age and he's known all of them since he was a child. He would love to move to Kishinev, Odesa, or Kyiv on his own and become a musician, but he knows it would kill his mama, and he'd feel guilty for the rest of his life.

At his cousin's wedding in Kishinev, Elazar falls for Ita Kaplan, a wealthy heiress from Bolgrad, a key trade city on the Black Sea near the Romanian border, but she shuns him because she dreams of moving to Paris and becoming a painter. He then loses his heart to Mariam Gabashvili, the blossoming daughter of a local vintner, but his papa forbids him from marrying her because she's not Jewish.

History-the rise of Stalin, his brutal takeover of Ukraine, and later Hitler's invasion of the USSR-grants Elazar's wishes in ways he never dreams, sending he and his family on an epic flight to Uzbekistan, where they endure the war, and then back to Moldova, where they pick up the pieces of their shattered lives.

In this stunning novel based on true events, Tim Turner and Moisey Gorbaty brilliantly re-create Jewish life in the Soviet Union, where, while life was punishing and brutally unfair, one violinist finds music in devastation and conducts his family-his orchestra-in such a way as to not let the horrors defeat them or hate to overcome them.

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