Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Rhapsody by Mitchell James Kaplan

One evening in 1924, Katharine “Kay” Swift—the restless but loyal society wife of wealthy banker James Warburg and a serious pianist who longs for recognition—attends a concert. The piece: Rhapsody in Blue. The composer: a brilliant, elusive young musical genius named George Gershwin.

Kay is transfixed, helpless to resist the magnetic pull of George’s talent, charm, and swagger. Their ten-year love affair, complicated by her conflicted loyalty to her husband and the twists and turns of her own musical career, ends only with George’s death from a brain tumor at the age of thirty-eight.

Set in Jazz Age New York City, this stunning work of fiction, for fans of The Paris Wife and Loving Frank, explores the timeless bond between two brilliant, strong-willed artists. George Gershwin left behind not just a body of work unmatched in popular musical history, but a woman who loved him with all her heart, knowing all the while that he belonged not to her, but to the world.



About The Author

 Mitchell James Kaplan is a cum laude graduate of Yale University, where he won the Paine Memorial Prize. His first mentor was author William Styron. Following college, he lived in Paris and Southern California. Currently he lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.

​Mitchell James Kaplan's 2010 novel, By Fire, By Water, won numerous literary awards both domestically and abroad. Into The Unbounded Night, a novel of first century Rome and the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, will be out in September, 2020 (Regal House). Rhapsody, a novel about Kay Swift and her 1920s Broadway circle, including her lover George Gershwin, will appear in 2021 (Gallery / Simon & Schuster)



My Review

This is an in-depth look at the life of Kay Swift, an immensely talented woman who married well, had three daughters, and a career on Broadway. She was a Classically trained pianist, and thus is put on the path to meet George Gershwin.
This read is full of name drops and through the author we rub shoulder with some very famous people.
What a dynamic pair Kay and George become and the world was blessed because of their union.
The fact that Kay was married at the time of there affair didn’t seem to bother anyone, although this story takes place during the 1920’s and ’30’s, their morals were not the greatest!
I found it interesting that James Warburg, Kay’s husband and a very successful banker, wrote a lot of the lyrics for Kay’s music, and with their money are able to finance Broadway musicals.
What I did love about this book is all the historical facts that are provided, from the depression to the beginning of the evil rising in Europe. From the streets of New York City to Reno Nevada, and trips to Europe.
Happy and very sad happenings, these will keep you page turning, and be sure to author’s notes!
I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Gallery Books, and was not required to give a positive review.


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