Despite her training as a master violinist, Rebekah Carrington was denied entry into the Nashville Philharmonic by young conductor Nathaniel Whitcomb, who bowed to public opinion. Now, with a reluctant muse and a recurring pain in his head, he needs her help to finish his symphony. But how can he win back her trust when he’s robbed her of her dream?
With A Note Yet Unsung finished, it is sad to say that this is the last in the Belmont series. Although the Belle Meade books are my favorite of the two series, I still enjoyed the Belmont books. As a matter of fact, I enjoyed this one a lot more than Eleanor and Marcus’s book. I don’t believe I’ve read books that was focused on music – classical instruments and orchestras – as much as this one, which I found interesting to read about. I could just picture Rebekah with her eyes closed, getting lost in the music as she made her violin sing out passionately.
Rebekah is quite talented in music, she has the gift and ear for it. Besides the violin, she can also play the piano and oboe, plus she knows how to transcribe music and is capable of helping others write music – she knows if a song is missing something and just what that something is. Rebekah has been away from Nashville for 10 years, honing her talent in Vienna when she comes home due to her grandmothers passing. She dreams of performing on a stage, sharing her God given talent, which leads her to auditioning for Maestro Whitcomb, Nathaniel ‘Tate’ Whitcomb, our hero. In 1871, it is unheard of for women to play in orchestras, let alone audition for one as they are seen as the weaker sex, only to play in parlors in their homes, so it is a big disappointment when she receives a no from him.
Tate is the new conductor at the Nashville Philharmonic, which he is in the middle of composing a symphony, which he is having trouble finding the inspiration for it and finish it. Plus his reoccurring headaches doesn’t help him either. By a mere accident, Tate finds out that Rebekah knows how to transcribe music, so therefore he asks her to be his assistant to help him complete his piece – he doesn’t know fif she will agree as their first meeting (her audition) went anything but smooth. Reluctantly she agrees with the nudge of ever persistent, Adelicia Cheatham to help Tate finish his symphony.
When you first meet Tate, he comes off as very temperamental, constantly blowing a fuse when conducting musicians, but that is due to his ailment. Rebekah knows how to handle Tate during his non pleasant frustrating moods and doesn’t let him get by with it. Even though he refused to let Rebekah play in his symphony, as it is unheard of and looked down upon for a women to play in one, he doesn’t fail to notice her musical gift, which throughout the book, he becomes more accepting of her wish to play in an orchestra. Even thought he was temperamental at times, he did have his great moments when his feelings for Rebekah grew, she would catch him watching her with great interest, he’d tease and flirt with her and when he went back to visit his family. I liked how Tamera wrote his family, how she made his origins originate not from Nashville society, but from the backwoods of Chicory Hollow. The way she wrote the dialog for the characters that hailed from there was highly believable, so much so I could envision Loretta Lynn talking and her Coal Miners Daughter song as Tates family worked in the mines.
Another thing that I really love when its done right, is the dialog of the African Americans during this time period. I feel like she captures their speech and spirit perfectly.
Also at the end, my what a wonderful surprise it was to see the happy reunion of two characters, one whom thought dead.
After finishing this, it greatly reminds me of why Tamera is such a great author and one of my favorites. In my honest opinion, she is one of the only authors who can pen an authentic novel with a believable setting and characters during or after the Civil war. She always manages to make me fall in love with her characters and books after I finish them, resulting with a big happy content sigh from me. All I can say is, thank heavens I have ‘A Lasting Impression’ left to read, plus the last book in the Belle Meade series to appease my appetite until she releases more wonderful books in the near future.