More Than You Know

More Than You Know

4.7 4
by Rosalyn Story
     
 

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A sweeping love story about how long-buried family secrets devastate the marriage of a brilliant musician and his wife. Homeless L.J. Tillman is a jazz saxophonist whose life has been torn apart. When the painful secret that L.J. had kept all his life had finally been revealed, it shattered his marriage to Olivia, a promising singer who works as a beautician. More… See more details below

Overview


A sweeping love story about how long-buried family secrets devastate the marriage of a brilliant musician and his wife. Homeless L.J. Tillman is a jazz saxophonist whose life has been torn apart. When the painful secret that L.J. had kept all his life had finally been revealed, it shattered his marriage to Olivia, a promising singer who works as a beautician. More Than You Know is the elegantly crafted story of how this troubled couple rescues their marriage: shaken to the core, they discover that truth conforms to its own rules, and that love can endure even the most profound injuries. Rosalyn Story, herself a successful musician, has created a lyrical, emotionally consuming page-turner that delves deeply into the mysteries of love, family, and marriage.

Editorial Reviews

Bridgett M. Davis
More Than You Know delivers on this formula, but with a twist -- in fact with many twists. Rosalyn Story's debut novel is a mystery at heart -- a page-turner enhanced by lyrical language and clever plot turns. Story, a violinist with the Fort Worth Symphony, knows how to play to a crowd, and she drives the narrative like a good straight-ahead quartet -- taking a pop standard and playing it with panache while adding fresh changes and tempos that give the well-worn tune a whole new sound.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
A car accident reveals a deep split in the marriage of an African-American couple in Story's lyrical, uneven fiction debut. As the novel begins, brilliant jazz saxophonist L.J. Tillman is a homeless street musician in Manhattan, eking out an existence blowing tunes for passing pedestrians. But Tillman's history is even more sordid after an argument with his wife about a long-kept family secret, Tillman had an accident in which his car plunged into a river near their Kansas City home. Tillman survives the wreck, but rather than return to Olivia, he takes off and lets her believe that he has died when the police fail to find his body. Tillman's fortunes improve when he lands a solid gig in Manhattan, and after finally getting an apartment he thinks about calling Olivia, who has had her hands full with a fire that destroyed her beauty shop. Story lays out her convoluted narrative in a series of flashbacks, but it is her vivid descriptions of Tillman's music-making Story is a professional violinist and the author of a nonfiction work about African-American opera singers (And So I Sing) and her strong portraits of Tillman and Olivia that give this occasionally strained novel a solid foundation. 8-city author tour. (Sept. 24) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
A saxophonist since he was quite young, L.J. Tillman had hopes of performing jazz with some of the best. Yet here he is on the streets of New York City, homeless and playing for quarters. He had a nice life back in Kansas City and was happily married until the night he and Olivia had a huge fight. That same night, the club where he had been playing closed down, and the two events sent him on a downward spiral that ended on the streets. Though originally an abandoned child from Arkansas, Olivia had been raised lovingly by Big Mama and never wanted for anything. But the secret of her origins haunted her until that fateful night with L.J., when she learned more than she dreamed and her life changed forever. Story, a musician herself, has written an engaging first novel whose characters have great appeal. This page-turner is a tale of family, music, and African American heritage that should appeal to many readers. Recommended for public libraries.-Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., OH Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Buried secrets divide an African-American couple in debut fiction from Fort Worth Symphony violinist Story (And so I Sing: African American Divas of Opera and Concert, not reviewed). Sax player L.J. Tillman serenades New York street corners until a kindly singer encourages him to sit in at a Manhattan jazz club. L.J. is superbly talented and gets a gig at the club, which leads to money and an apartment. But when L.J. calls home to Kansas City and tells his wife of many years "it's me," Olivia hangs up the phone. A beautician with a beautiful voice, Olivia has just sung in a church service as a way to tell the congregation, and herself, that L.J. is dead. A year ago, he stormed out of the house after Olivia began asking him about her origins. He drove their car off a bridge, letting the police think that he'd died. While L.J. regains his confidence as a musician, Olivia hires a private detective to make sure he's dead. When L.J. signs on with a jazz band that's passing near Kansas City, he hopes to visit Olivia and explain why he left. The situation's origins are far back and complex: when he was just seven, L.J. was given Olivia, a nameless newborn, to leave on the doorstep of the first likely house he could find. Through a series of coincidences and convoluted family and community ties, L.J., who is also an orphan but was raised by a disreputable uncle, eventually marries Olivia. They want to open a jazz club, she opens a beauty shop instead, and he becomes a successful touring musician. L.J.'s knowledge of Olivia's origins, and of her mother, along with their failure to have a child, separates them-although ironic, occasionally improbable, coincidences reunite them. Romantic, deeplysentimental redemption story of smoky jazz clubs, beauty salons crackling with gossip, and the intricate, wide-ranging community that holds it all together.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781572846173
Publisher:
Agate
Publication date:
03/01/2009
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
382
Sales rank:
268,205
File size:
1 MB

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