Young adult novel about a quartet?

June 20, 2018, 1:03 PM · This is a long shot. For DECADES I have been searching off an on for a novel I read in the 1970s about a string quartet. My memory is very much that it was what is today called a young adult novel (intended for older kids). At this point, I'm almost convinced that I dreamed the thing, as one would think that Google or Amazon would turn it up if it ever existed. But just checking here in case it rings any bells. It was probably published in the 1960s or 1970s--no later. Thanks!

Replies (14)

June 29, 2018, 6:39 PM · I think I read Leo Tolstoy's "The Kreutzer Sonata" before I was 21. But that's not a string quartet, and I think it was published before the 1960s.

Other possibilitY:
https://theinkbrain.wordpress.com/2011/11/03/virginia-woolfthe-string-quartet/

June 29, 2018, 8:03 PM · Nope--neither of those. Every few years I get this bee in my bonnet and search for it, but so far, nothing.
June 30, 2018, 6:34 PM · If you are interested in string quartets, I highly recommend Vikram Seth's novel "An Equal Music." It is certainly one of the best novels about music, and Seth is one of the best authors around. A young adult novel about this topic might be interesting, especially in light of Arnold Steinhardt's (of the Guarneri Quartet) comment in one of his books that a playing in a string quartet is like being in a marriage without the sex.
June 30, 2018, 8:55 PM · Seth's book is on my list. Oddly, there is no Kindle version, which is holding me back. ;-)
June 30, 2018, 10:42 PM · Don’t hurry— it is pretty uneven and the musical bits appeared to be bolted on to shore up the better parts.
July 1, 2018, 3:33 AM · Seth's book is okay, it's just a little too long. And about Tolstoi's Kreutzer Sonata: the last thing you want to call that is Young Adult.

It's the story of an violently embittered husband.

July 10, 2018, 8:43 PM · I wonder if this book (which I found on a viola list, scandale!) is a reprint of your mystery book?

MacLachlan, Patricia
The Facts and Fictions of Minna Pratt
New York: Harper & Row, 1988; ISBN: 0060241144 9780060241148, 0064402657 (pbk.)
9780064402651 (pbk.)
136 pages
Genre: Juvenile audience

Description from the publisher: “Minna wishes for many things. She wishes she understood the quote taped above her mother’s typewriter: ‘Fact and fiction are different truths.’ She wishes her mother would stop writing long enough to really listen to her. She wishes her house were peaceful and orderly like her friend Lucas’s. Most of all, she wishes she could find a vibrato on her cello and play Mozart the way he deserves to be played. Minna soon discovers that some things can’t be found-they just have to happen. And as she waits for her vibrato to happen, Minna begins to understand some facts and fictions about herself.”

Written by the Newberry-award-winning author of Sarah, Plain and Tall, this book includes violist Lucas Ellerby, a new addition to the chamber group that Minna Pratt performs in.

July 10, 2018, 8:50 PM · Ah, sorry, it's listed as first published in 2002, so no. But it might give you a lead into the sadly inscrutable world of twentieth century YA.
July 10, 2018, 9:00 PM · Could it be, though, the late great Ursula K. LeGuin's slim 1978 book _Very Far Away From Anywhere Else_ ? Her IRL daughter is a cellist/musicologist/activist; book is about high school awkward friendship between a math nerd and a composer.
July 10, 2018, 9:04 PM · *1976*
July 10, 2018, 9:06 PM · I don't know about the OPs request, but I recall a funny novel called "The Well Tempered String Quartet". Has anyone read it?
July 11, 2018, 8:15 AM · It's not the LeGuin, which I LOVE. While we are on the topic, a wonderful series about young musicians is KM Peyton's "Pennington's Last Term," "The Beethoven Medal," and "Pennington's Heir." Patrick Pennington is a pianist, but there's a violinist in the books as well, if that's a requirement. I love Peyton's writing style (she is British, and has a way with describing adolescence that is just so perfect). She is not only musically inclined (and hence, does a really great job of that aspect of these books) but is also a horsewoman (many of her other books are about horses), so she pretty much ticks all my boxes. :-)
July 11, 2018, 8:16 AM · DB Cooper--what is that one about? Looked for it on Amazon and it's there, but with no description or reviews!
July 11, 2018, 8:39 AM · M Blockley--I guess that's LeGuin's older daughter? I knew her younger one in grad school and she is an English professor. :-)


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