Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Broadway Revival (book review)

I remember learning in my teens that George Gershwin was only 38 when he died. I felt so sorry for him, but also for me. What music died with him? Gershwin had mentioned to a friend that he had a string quartet in his head, but hadn't had time to write it down. Heart-breaking!

Author Laura Frankos shares my sense of loss, as does the lead character of her entertaining novel, Broadway Revival. It is 2070, and David Greenbaum, in mourning for his late husband, starts obsessing about Gershwin. In David's world, the brain tumor that killed Gershwin could  be cured. And, as it happens, David's brother has access to a time machine. What if ... ?

Frankos's alternate history builds on her comprehensive understanding of the time period. The book is a great read, combining wish-fulfillment with smooth story-telling. If you care about Gershwin, or the American songbook, or musical theatre, or time travel, or alternate history, this book has much to offer you.

Wendy Caster

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