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The Passion of Tasha Darsky Paperback – August 5, 2008

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Editorial Reviews


“[A work of] fiction deeply involved with intellect and ideas, warmed by sensitively delineated emotions and propelled by strong storytelling. The Passion of Tasha Darsky establishes Yael Goldstein [Love] as a writer with a distinctive voice of her own.” —Los Angeles Times

“The Passion of Tasha Darksy is nothing short of magnificent.” _—Charleston Post and Courier

About the Author

Yael Goldstein Love graduated from Harvard College in 2000. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. This is her first novel.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; Reprint edition (August 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767929799
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767929790
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.7 x 8.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,148,277 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. M. VINE VOICE on August 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
In this beautiful novel, world-famous concert violinist Tasha Darsky thinks she is nothing because she doesn't write music like her lover or her daughter. She views the playing of other people's compositions as a utility, not an act of creation. Yet, she imbues the notes she plays with such unkempt effusion and vibrant passion that the pieces become new under her dazzling bowing. Being a sensation is, however, actually the acidic fruit of Tasha's renunciation of the love of her life and her promise as a composer, so a reckoning and an adjustment are inevitable....

THE PASSION OF TASHA DARSKY (entitled OVERTURE in its hardcover edition) succeeds on so many levels: As a study of the artistic temperament. As a love story fraught with human frailty. As an exploration of modern musical theory. As transporting translation of musical emotions into words. And as a generational spiral in which Tasha, her mother (to a lesser degree), and her daughter each grapple with their talents, their loved ones, and their insecurities. Tasha and Alexandra struggle with typical mother/daughter stresses but also with their fishbowl performing life and the men they encounter. Alex calls Tasha "the Big One" -- the one who has already accomplished everything -- but Tasha knows her daughter's talents and tells her, "...I couldn't do what you do; write music like that...."

THE PASSION OF TASHA DARSKY is a penetrating, mature reflection on one fragile musical life at its center and the family, friends, mentors, and lovers who help tune it. At one point, an unforgettable character blithely and a bit pompously declares, "I believe beauty is the only thing that has a right to be anywhere it cares to be." Well, that sentiment ought to apply to this novel. It deserves to be...everywhere. Very highly recommended, especially to music lovers.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By ethilred on August 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
If you haven't read Goldstein-Love's debut novel yet (hardcover entitled Overture)--well, you must. It is so rare these days to find fiction with such wisdom, such generosity of spirit, such empathy; in short a novel that so skillfully accomplishes what a novel is meant to do: enable readers to get inside a mind apart from their own. A novel like The Passion of Tasha Darsky is more illuminating than most nonfiction books you can read; in the hands of so adept and warmhearted an interpreter of human nature as Goldstein-Love, you'll come away with a new lucidity to bring to all your day-to-day interactions.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sandra VINE VOICE on March 21, 2009
Format: Paperback
This extraordinarily sensitive and striking novel asks, in the author's own words, "...but what is my life, after all, but who and what I've loved, rightly or wrongly?" In this wonderful book, the reader follows Tasha Darsky, an internationally-known concert violinist, through her life and loves. We follow her through childhood, a career as a promising student of Harvard, as she travels the circuit in her concert tours, and as she mothers a growing, ambitious, and highly talented child.

Ms Love describes sounds and feelings as well as other indescribable things with ease and compassion. The descriptions of Tasha's personal experience of music are amazing. Her triumphs and her failures in love, career, and motherhood are real and poignant. Ms Love writes this book in such a passionate and realistic way, that it would be very difficult not to be deeply moved by this book. I highly recommend Ms Love's masterpiece.
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Format: Paperback
Is there anything more satisfying than picking up a novel based on scant information and a beautiful cover and finding that the author has provided a gift by doing near everything right? Reading Yael Goldstein Love's well-constructed "Passion of Tasha Darsky" one cannot help but be struck by the author's gift for sculpting complex characters in complicated relationships.

The Tasha Darsky of the title, who is also the narrator of this first person work, is "the most renowned violinist since Paganini," known for the passion she brings to her performance as well being "every thinking man's fantasy." Goldstein Love traces Darsky's life in flashbacks, from her New York childhood in New York to wealthy gallery-owning and taste-defining parents, to Harvard where she meets the talented composer who becomes the love of her life. She contrasts this long arc with Darsky's frantic search for her prodigiously brilliant, missing, erratic daughter.

As a work, Tasha Darsky succeeds on several levels, but most effectively in its exploration of the narrators relationships -- with her own parents, her daughter, her music, and her self image - all crafted with a prose that are at once clean yet graceful. Here in particular one must be impressed, for such theme, particularly in the hands of a first time novelist, can often descend into the most abysmal cliché, yet every time one shudders sensing that Goldstein Love might be taking her characters to the edge of that precipice, she instead deftly avoids the obvious route, opting instead for nuance and ambiguity.

As with every first novel, we have here a window into an author in progress; yet with this novel's depth, humor, and pathos, one can only say that I can't wait to see where Yael Goldstein Love next applies her considerable talents.
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