Author: Daphne Kalotay
Publisher: Harper (May, 2013)
Genre: Literary Fiction
My Rating: B
Summary from the publisher:
On a Boston street one warm spring day, Hazel and Remy spot each other for the first time in years. Although their brief meeting may seem insignificant, behind them lie two decades in which their life paths have crisscrossed, diverged, and ultimately interlaced. Remy, a gifted violinist, is married to the composer Nicholas Elko—once the love of Hazel’s life.
It has been twenty years since Remy, an ambitious conservatory student; Nicholas, a wunderkind launching an international career; and his wife, the beautiful and fragile Hazel, first came together, tipping their collective world on its axis. As their story unfolds from 1987 to 2007, from Europe to America, from conservatory life to the Boston Symphony Orchestra, each discovers the surprising ways in which the quest to create something real and true—be it a work of art or one’s own life—can lead to the most personal of revelations.
I love character-driven novels, especially ones that follow the characters over a long period of time. When I heard Sight Reading compared to Three Junes by Julia Glass, I knew I wanted to read it. I got halfway through this book and I had to go back and re-read Three Junes. (Click the title for my review.)
When I came back to finish Sight Reading I knew what was wrong with it: the people/characters weren’t real. The only exception was Remy. By the end I felt a human kinship with her, but just barely. It was a disappointment as I really wanted to know and like these people.
I can’t knock the author’s ability to put words together because she writes beautifully. She also did a great job of creating images of the book’s various settings. A novel that spans twenty years is not an easy task. She did a good job of that. I also admired how she helped us look inside a marriage and a family.
The fact that I couldn’t connect with two of the three main characters shouldn’t deter you from considering this book. Its probably just a matter of my personal taste. And, most likely, my own personal expectations. I think I was expecting or hoping for a carbon copy of Three Junes.
It would be a good idea to check the other bloggers who reviewed this book as part of the TLC Book Tour. Reading the other opinions could help you decide if this is one you’d like to read. The list of other bloggers is here: Sight Reading Book Tour.
Thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book and to TLC Book Tours for allowing me to be a part of it all.