- Paperback: 332 pages
- Publisher: Dreamspinner Press (July 12, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9781615815333
- ISBN-13: 978-1615815333
- ASIN: 1615815333
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,341,335 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Counterpoint: Dylan's Story Paperback – July 12, 2010
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"'These pieces are extraordinary for one your age and with your limited training. I was but warning you of the difficulties ahead, for I can see by this music that you want to break rules and smash barriers.'
'I do indeed, Sir!'
'You must understand one thing: when one smashes barriers, one often breaks one's own hear in doing it.'
'I don't care about that.'
'Understandable. At your age, why should you?'"
I was lost in this book, lost in the tremendous love for music and love for another human being that overflowed from these pages. This had one of the two most emotional and tragic scenes that I have ever read and I cried the most I ever had while reading a story. At that most tragic scene my tears would not stop slipping down my face--I still get teary-eyed just thinking about it--and my eyes again dripped at the triumphant culmination of the story. I felt every moment keenly, loved the authenticity of the time and places and every emotion felt, saw how human and true each character was, and completely was entranced. I feel like I lived through each moment with Dylan, like I was there with him and Laurence, and later him and Geoffrey, and everyone else in their lives. It was the most amazing feeling, one I'll never forget and will strive to recapture. I feel like these people should be real, and I want to hear their music with my ears, not just my soul, as I have though out this book. I feel like all the emotions I felt must transfer into something more.
"My love. Emotion shook him as Laurence touched his face with trembling fingertips. My love. Love. So this was what love felt like--being willing to die for just one more touch, being willing to wait for the rest if need be."
Remembering the beginning scenes, no, the beginning half, and the differences between that and the second half or the ending of this book; not just the characters, but the whole tone, the situations, the scenes, everything grew up and changed, and yet was so closely linked to the earlier parts...oh it was incredible! All of it was! This review is more of a stream-of-consciousness process, of me reliving the scenes, than a proper review, but that is how much this book has scrambled my mind, given me everything I wanted and more. Horrified me and made me overjoyed; touched me and made me cry; made me hold my breath and then breathe out in awe; sickened and astonished me, then made me grin. Up and down, over and again. This was absolute mastery, and it took command of my soul. I will remember this journey, and cannot recommend this book highly enough. I hope everyone reads it just for the experience of being invaded and changed into a whole new being. It's magic, the way Dylan's and Geoffrey's music is to the people of this book.
"'Without you to play it, it's nothing but small black marks on paper. When I wrote, it was like a flood from my brain and my heart out through my fingers. Those marks are the sum of everything I feel for you! Every grand detache, every bariolage is yours. Every rest, every fermata, every time change, every notation, every bloody note is yours.'"
P.S. The writing was also so, so beautiful in itself. I highlighted the most sections I ever have from one book. Too many to list or write out, but I included a few of my favorites in here.
P.P.S. I've been thinking about it, and one reason I liked this so much was that Ms. Sims didn't use any of the tried and true (and tired) plot threads like [cheating, jealousy, or gay bashing (hide spoiler)] that would have been easy to use as a filler, but instead forged her own unique path for the story, which made it all the better for that choice. Also, I feel like I almost don't want to read another story right now out of respect for this one. I'm not sure if any will live up to this one, and I have this playing on a loop in my head, and I don't want to taint that :) Oh well, I must take each story on its own merit I suppose!
The story opens in 1800s England with incorrigible teenage composer Dylan Rutledge falling hard--too hard--for one of his schoolmasters. Laurence (though secretly smitten) leaves the school to write novels in Paris lest they both be ruined. In a few years time the two meet again when Dylan is older but no more wiser. He is quite sure of his musical genius and proceeds to offend each of his mentors. But he does win Laurence's heart and they fall into love, bed and cozy living arrangements. Fortunately Parisians of the time are less judgmental than their fellow countrymen (think: Oscar Wilde trials).
Okay, but that's just the first part--a novella in its own right. There is much more to come for Dylan and the character threads that weave into his. I won't spoil it here but it involves physical disability, family strife, nicely drawn orchestral performances, horrific prison sentences, a Stradivarius, death, fraud, a gorgeous Romani boy and much more. It all flows very naturally, there was never a moment when I had to suspend disbelief. I think there were a couple of anachronisms here and there but I hate when people dismiss books out of hand over such quibbles. They were certainly nothing major. And sometimes it feels less stuffy because of it.
If you love historicals, prefer a hefty story with your romance and don't mind that your main characters are men there's no reason not to add Counterpoint to your library.