Strings: A Love Story

Strings: A Love Story

by Megan Edwards

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781945501036
Publisher: Imbrifex Books
Publication date: 09/12/2017
Pages: 210
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range: 15 - 18 Years

About the Author

Megan Edwards is the award-winning author of FULL SERVICE BLONDE, GETTING OFF ON FRANK SINATRA, and STRINGS: A LOVE STORY. All three novels were first-place winners of Benjamin Franklin book awards in 2018. Edwards is also the author of ROADS FROM THE ASHES: AN ODYSSEY IN REAL LIFE ON THE VIRTUAL FRONTIER, a memoir of her five-year adventure living and working on the road during the dawn of the Internet. At home in Las Vegas, Nevada, where there's never a shortage of fascinating material and inspiration, Edwards is working on her next novel.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter 1

The Merino Rose is sitting on my coffee table. I can see it in the lights I left blazing in the practice room, but seeing it doesn't make it any more believable.

What's even more incredible is that the Merino Rose, "the violin of angels" is actually mine. The Brahms Violin Concerto was played for the first time on this violin.

The King of Strings.

And it doesn't even exist. The Merino Rose was destroyed in the Trieste Opera fire in 1881. Everybody knows that. If a Guarnerius with inlaid roses around the back edge shows up at auction, it's got to be a fake.

Except? maybe not. What keeps those forgeries coming is that no one can prove that the fire destroyed the Merino Rose. No one can even prove the violin was actually in Trieste. It was Vittorio Bonacci who was there. Was the Merino Rose with him? Was he the thief who stole it from Joseph Joachim's Berlin conservatory.

The questions don't matter anymore. The violin is real. It's been gone for more than a century, and it vanished before reliable sound Strings recording was invented. Even so, the legend of the Rose's unsurpassed brilliance has lived on. It defies reason, but the world still mourns the loss of a violin no one alive has ever heard.

I knew this was the Rose the instant I heard that one note. Yes, I have years of experience playing and appraising stringed instruments, but that knowledge only served to corroborate what I knew the moment I plucked that string. The Merino Rose is more than a haunting memory. The world will soon find out that one of its loveliest treasures still occupies three dimensions.

I can already see the cameras, the microphones, the throngs of reporters. When I say the word, they'll be here, each one more eager than the last to hear the edict of Edward Spencer IV. They consider me an undisputed authority, after all, an expert with unimpeachable credentials to give them the answer to the one question they're all dying to ask.

Oh, they'll listen in rapt silence while I play the Brahms, and they'll pretend they care when I speak of the Rose's sweet perfection. But that's not what they're really after. All they want is a number.

In the end I'll give them exactly that, and they'll go away happy, believing I have priced the priceless. They will never know what it really cost to bring the Merino Rose to my coffee table. Only Olivia knows, and she's not here.

I discovered I was a string man when I was eight years old and attending summer camp in Idaho. The music counselor handed me a violin when I arrived, and the moment I felt the smooth wood under my fingers, I was smitten.

At first, it was the construction of the thing that captivated me. I come from a manufacturing family. yes, I'm a Spencer from the Spencer Luggage family, and I'd spent my early years hearing about the intricacies of design and fabrication. I'd hung around our factory in Los Angeles every day after school, and I could have constructed a suitcase single-handed by the time I'd finished fourth grade. The violin was far finer than a valise, and its curved surfaces fascinated me. Even the bow seemed like a work of art.

If you think it odd that I'd never touched a violin until I was eight, you've never met my father. Edward Spencer III thought music was fine, in its place. He'd sung with the Yale Alley Cats when he was in college, but that was over once the sheepskin traded hands. Singing was just wholesome recreation, the same as summer camp. There was no room for it in real life. Hobbies like building models belonged there, that was practical engineering. But music? Frank Sinatra on the hi-fi while you sipped your pre-dinner Scotch, that was where music belonged.

Fathers, however, have always had a hard time stifling their children's infatuations. I was in love with the violin from that first moment of contact, and I spent the summer making it mine. The music counselor, happy to find an avid pupil, spent hours with me, got me excused from canoeing and archery. By the end of the summer, I could play.

And play I did. When my parents came to collect me on the last day of camp, I was the star of the talent show, the centerpiece of a group that included the music counselor and two of his friends who were members of the Spokane Symphony.

My parents were very proud, and they seemed to listen carefully when the music counselor told them I was a "natural talent."

"He should have lessons," Mike said, and he gave them the name of a teacher in Los Angeles.

My mother agreed that I should continue studying violin, and she arranged for lessons with Howard Stiles, who had just retired as concertmaster with the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Mr. Stiles wasn't the name my counselor had suggested. My mother moved in Los Angeles social stratosphere, and if her son was going to study violin, the teacher would have to be Someone.

What People are Saying About This

Megan Edwards

"Edwards follows two would-be lovers through three decades in this lovely tale of pining and performance...Readers wanting to dwell on the melancholy of ill-timed loved will devour this beautiful novel." — Publisher's Weekly

"'Strings: A Love Story' by Megan Edwards is a beautiful love story that will absolutely melt the hearts of romance novel devotees. Edwards brings new life to the beloved genre through “Strings,” with one simple tactic: telling the story through Ted’s point of view. Imagine the tenderness, the bittersweet, the pining—all from a man’s point of view – wow! Edwards certainly captures the souls of her characters—they are authentic and relatable, though not all likeable. The writing is absolutely fabulous, and the storyline and characters are captivating and engaging. I highly recommend “Strings: A Love Story” by Megan Edwards for a mesmerizing emotional journey.” — Sheri Hoyte, Reader Views

"Teenaged angst and love at first sight mingle with missed chances and more mature obstacles. The love story is literally down to the last page before it gets sorted and there were times when I wondered if I would finish a love story or a bittersweet lost love book. I was swept along and it’s a book that practically reads itself ." — Jayne S, DearAuthor.com

"That someone whose main muse is not music can so completely nail the most important part of every musician's journey is pretty surprising. Strings is a delightful look—both literal and metaphorical—at the point where we stop worry about playing the notes and start making music." — William Evans, SoundProLive

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Strings: A Love Story 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Reader_Views More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (1/18) “Strings: A Love Story” by Megan Edwards is a beautiful love story that will absolutely melt the hearts of romance novel devotees. Ted and Olivia have been in love since they first met each other in high school, where Ted was cast as Lancelot and Olivia as Guenevere in the school’s production of Camelot. Surely a sign they are meant to be together, right? But fate interferes from the beginning as life gets in the way. Ted becomes a respected violinist with the Vienna Philharmonic, Olivia a famous actress. Both work hard to accomplish their dreams, and from all appearances they both have everything they’ve ever desired. But, at what cost? Okay, I am a sucker for romance and Megan Edwards must have seen me coming! I absolutely loved this story. It starts as a sweet, almost coming-of-age-boy-meets-girl type of romance and continues over several decades, with love always just a bit out of reach. Timeless issues like societal barriers, life going in different directions, misunderstandings, and ill-fated timing, are given a fresh face as Edwards brings new life to the beloved genre through “Strings,” with one simple tactic: telling the story through Ted’s point of view. Imagine the tenderness, the bittersweet, the pining—all from a man’s point of view – wow! Ted captured my heart and my whole experience with the story was elevated as I connected with Ted through his heart, his feelings and the actions he takes to push through the rough patches. Edwards certainly captures the souls of her characters—they are authentic and relatable, though not all likeable. Readers will fall in love with several of them and despise a few others, but there aren’t any characters that do not evoke some sort of reaction. I was also impressed with the knowledge emanating through the pages relating to the musical side of the story. Edwards is either a classical music and violin aficionado, or she really did her homework. A little dose of drama around a violin that has been missing for centuries adds another layer to the story and a certain bit of elegance to an already sophisticated plot. The writing is absolutely fabulous, and the storyline and characters are captivating and engaging. You might think you know how it’s going to end, but you don’t. Trust me. I highly recommend “Strings: A Love Story” by Megan Edwards for a mesmerizing emotional journey.
KateUnger More than 1 year ago
Strings: A Love Story surprised me. It starts with a snippet of present day and a long missing famous violin. Honestly, I could have done without that whole aspect. The real story starts with a high school romance between Ted and Olivia at boarding school is California. Ted is from a wealthy family, and his parents have serious expectations for his future path. Olivia is the daughter of the campus maid. They’re cast as Lancelot and Guinevere in the production of Camelot. I feel in love with them both immediately. The book follows them (mostly Ted) over the next few decades. It reminded me a little of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. Ted is a world famous violinist and Olivia is an actress. Somehow their lives just don’t overlap again after high school. It’s bittersweet but once again Megan Edwards writing is compelling. I couldn’t put this book down. I read it on my phone every chance I got. It’s pretty character-driven, but I really enjoyed it. http://opinionatedbooklover.com/review-strings-a-love-story-by-megan-edwards/