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Three Part Invention, a Novel (英語) ペーパーバック – 2009/9/15


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内容紹介

Three generations of mothers and daughters take center stage, with 20th century events as backdrop, in this novel of depth and humor spotlighting the power of music-from classical to jazz to rock and international folk-and the tug between ethnic loyalty and global consciousness. Alice, a classical pianist and daughter of Eastern-European Jewish immigrants, marries violinist Izzy shortly before World War II. After their daughter Beth is born they move from New York City to the fictional town of Delaware City, New Jersey, where Izzy works in a furniture store. As she raises Beth, Alice exhibits prejudices too common in her generation against people racially and ethnically different from herself. Yet, in her own way, she is open to a variety of experiences. Alice's world includes a psychic aunt, a piano teacher of Native American and Irish descent, an adult piano student in a wheelchair who reads palms, and her close friend Sophie, who has a daughter Beth's age. Beth grows up in Delaware City caught between her mother's value system, her own ideas-and her quest for social acceptance. Beth's resentment over being made to study piano deepens the rift between her and her mother. In her teens, Beth is introduced to rhythm & blues by African American high school girls. Beth's love of this music soon extends to rock, and then jazz-all of which her mother dislikes. At college in Ohio, Beth becomes involved in the early civil rights movement with her closest friends Melissa, a budding reporter and sexual explorer; Valerie, Beth's intellectual mentor, whose family is evasive about their Native American ancestry and who ponders her possible lesbianism; and Julius, a Black civil rights activist who challenges Beth's beliefs and self-image. Alexis, Beth's daughter, is born in Denver. As a pre-schooler, she finds herself in an uncertain world, often confused because her learning disabilities reduce her communication skills. Yet she finds she can do remarkable things with music. Tension develops between Alexis and her mother as Beth struggles to overcome profound changes in her life. These three distinct voices give us an unforgettable picture of the complexities of the mother-daughter relationship and of how women in three generations approach war, love, sex, death, career, friendship-and each other.

出版社からのコメント

The mother-daughter relationship takes center stage in this stunning novel of depth and humor that also spotlights the power of music--from classical to r&b, rock, jazz, and international folk--and the tug between ethnic loyalty and global consciousness.

Alice, a classical pianist and daughter of Eastern-European Jewish immigrants, marries violinist Izzy shortly before World War II begins. After Beth is born they move from New York City to the fictional town of Delaware City in west central New Jersey. As she raises Beth, Alice exhibits prejudices too common in her generation against people racially and ethnically different from herself. Yet, in her own way, she is open to a variety of experiences. Alice’s world includes a psychic aunt, a piano teacher of Native American and Irish descent, an adult piano student in a wheelchair who reads palms, and her close friend Sophie, who has a daughter Beth’s age.

Beth grows up in Delaware City caught between her mother’s values, her own ideas - and her quest for social acceptance. Her resentment over being made to study piano and the part she plays in a mishap that injures her mother, deepen the rift between them. In her teens, she is rejected both by Jewish girls, whose families are wealthier than hers, and non-Jewish classmates. Black high school girls her mother hires to clean house introduce Beth to rhythm and blues. Beth’s love of this music soon extends to rock and roll, and then jazz—all of which her mother hates. Beth happily leaves home for southeastern Ohio where she enters college. There, she becomes involved in the early civil rights movement.

After Beth marries and moves to Denver, her daughter Alexis is born. While she is an infant, her parents are involved in anti-Vietnam war activities. As a pre-schooler, Alexis finds herself in an uncertain world, often confused because communication is difficult. Later she is diagnosed with learning disabilities and finds she can do remarkable things with music. Tension develops between Alexis and her mother as Beth struggles to overcome profound changes in her life.

These three distinct voices give us an unforgettable picture of how women in three generations approach war, love, sex, death, career, friendship—and each other.
--このテキストは、ペーパーバック版に関連付けられています。

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登録情報

  • ペーパーバック: 382ページ
  • 出版社: Open Sea Press (2009/9/15)
  • 言語: 英語
  • ISBN-10: 0578029944
  • ISBN-13: 978-0578029948
  • 発売日: 2009/9/15
  • 商品パッケージの寸法: 15.2 x 2.2 x 22.9 cm
  • おすすめ度: この商品の最初のレビューを書き込んでください。
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5つ星のうち 4.0 Prejudice, relationships, and recent history 2011/8/27
投稿者 Sheila Deeth - (Amazon.com)
形式: Kindle版
Alice is Jewish, growing up in New York, playing the piano, and marrying her music partner just as World War II's about to start. After the birth of their daughter Beth, Alice and Izzy move to Jersey, where Alice learns to deal with the quiet prejudice of her new neighbors--friendships that stop at the front door--and Beth absorbs a little too much American culture and American faith. Judith Laura's novel, Three Part Invention, runs the gamut of emotions; anger and hope lead to an early celebration of Hanukkah; a child's confusion challenges the world of religion and prejudice; a mother's pain and self-doubt lead to depression.

Lists of friends, clear and vivid memories, dress styles, weight problems, sickness, history, birth, and traditions all give the feeling of a life truly lived, though the changes in point of view can be distracting, particularly when the same event is seen through different eyes. As a non-Jewish reader, I was fascinated by the details of Jewish life--Sunday school, Confirmation classes, even the playing of the organ. But Beth grows up and now it's college life, music, racial integration, coffee shops, the Committee for Human Rights (and the question of whether it's a Communist front) that fill the pages.

Looking at prejudice from many different directions, and history from the vantage point of someone living through it; listening to traditions and music, and growing accustomed to the different voices of this novel's protagonists; feeling the winds of change blow through the pages; Three Part Invention tells Ali's story in three parts, building her from her family up, and leaving the reader on the stage as the future begins.

Disclosure: I read this novel as a judge in the Multi-Cultural sections of the Dan Poynter Global eBook Awards
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