A few months ago I went to a book signing for my friend’s debut novel, A Minor: A Novel of Love, Music & Memory. The author, Margaret Philbrick, is a both a writing friend (she’s on the board of the Redbud Writers Guild) and a fellow member at Church of the Resurrection (though she’s been there much, much longer than I).
The book deals with a teenage piano prodigy, Clive, and the mentor who helps him to, as Clive puts it, “set his fingers and his heart on fire.” I was fascinated with the way Philbrick describes music throughout the novel. It becomes a character, and it drives and woos Clive.
Clive’s relationship with his mentor, Clare, also becomes increasingly complex, and he finds himself falling in love with her. But Clare is more than twice his age, and Clive soon notices her memory is slipping. Clare is diagnosed with early-onset dementia, and Philbrick explores the effects of this on human relationships and on a person’s gifts and passions (with a particular focus on the effects of music on memory).
I don’t usually suggest an e-book over print, but this book is an exception BECAUSE Philbrick has done the coolest thing ever. In the e-book, the reader has the option of playing the music Clive is working on; it becomes the background music as the reader experiences the scene!
Here’s another reason to purchase the e-book: November is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month, so Philbrick and her publisher, Köehler Books, are donating 20% of all proceeds from e-book sales to the Alzheimer’s Association AND it’s on sale for only $1.99.