Three generations of mothers and daughters take center stage in this remarkable novel of depth and humor. The story also spotlights the power of music—from classical to r&b, rock, jazz, and international folk—and the tug between ethnic loyalty and global consciousness.
Alice, a classical pianist and daughter of Eastern-European Jewish immigrants,marries violinist Izzy shortly before World War II. After their daughter Beth is born they move to from New York City to the fictional town of Delaware City NJ. Alice has prejudices all too common in her generation against people ethnically different from herself. Yet she is open to some new experiences through her piano teacher of Native American and Irish descent and an adult piano student who reads palms from her wheelchair. Beth grows up trying to reconcile her mother’s value system, her own ideas, and her quest for social acceptance. She comes to love to rhythm & blues, doo wop, rock, and jazz—all of which her mother hates. Beth happily leaves NJ and goes to collge in Ohio, where she becomes involved in the early civil rights movement. After Beth marries, her daughter,Alexis, is born in Denver and is an infant when her parents become involved in anti-Vietnam war activities. Beth has learning disabilities and finds she can do remarkable things with music.
Alice, Beth, and Alexis are three distinct voices that give us an unforgettable picture of the complexities of the mother-daughter relationship and of how women in three generations approach love war, sex, death, career, friendship—and each other.
Original title: Three Part Invention
Genre: Fiction→ General Fiction
Fiction→ General Fiction→ Women's Fiction
Fiction→ General Fiction→ Ethnic And Multicultural→ Jewish