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
In the tradition of THE INTERESTINGS and THE SECRET HISTORY, THE ENSEMBLE teases apart the strands of an intense and long-lasting group friendship that both bolsters and binds its members. Aja Gabel's powerful debut offers a sensitive portrait of four young musicians forging their paths through life: sometimes at odds with each other, sometimes in harmony, but always inextricably linked by their shared pasts.
Being in a quartet seems more difficult than being in a marriage. There is so much to hold together, so much work to be done, so many boundaries to delicately cross with people who ask you for everything and yet who you are tired of walking on eggshells with, so much unexpected bodily wear, so much unspoken and necessary love in its mere existence.
I adored this book, wanted to return to it night after night, and am desperate for it to be out so I can talk to other people about it. I never grew ...more
This coming of age story follows the life and career of the four members of the Van Ness String Quartet. These young driven classically trained music students begin in college and we follow their lyrical story stopping at brief intermissions broken into important concerts in their lives. With lyrical magic their stories read like the music they play and the reader is introduced to the competitive, sometimes brutal life of a classical musician. From their first disaster of a concert to getting re ...more
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