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The Violin Lover
The Violin Lover

The Violin Lover

Set in Jewish London in the 1930s, Susan Glickman's The Violin Lover is written against the backdrop of Hitler's escalating campaign against the Jews. This beautifully written novel tells the story of Clara Weiss and Ned Abraham, "the violin lover," brought together by Clara's 11-year-old son, Jacob. A successful doctor and amateur violinist, Ned is pressured to practice a duet with Jacob by the boy's piano teacher. Though reluctant at first, Ned is charmed by the young prodigy and surprised by Jacob's dedication and passion for music. In him Ned sees his younger self, so young and full of promise. A friendship is soon built on a mutual love for music. A dinner invitation to spend Passover with the Weiss family seals Ned's fate and a clandestine love affair begins. Although they both agree that no one must ever know — especially not Clara's family — their affair inevitably comes to a crashing end, with disastrous, life-altering consequences.

Unfolding like a melody, The Violin Lover is infused with music and told in three voices. It is a powerful novel about the love one feels for family, friends, culture, faith and music, and the passion that comes with it — regardless of the outcome.


Born to Canadians living in Baltimore, MD, Susan Glickman convinced her parents to move home to Montreal at the age of one and a half. But that initial sense of being from somewhere never left her. She has lived in England, the United States, and Greece and extensively travelled across Europe, Asia, and America before settling in Toronto. Glickman's love for travel is matched by her love for books. She has worked in bookstores, in publishing, and as an English professor at the University of Toronto. Known for her lithe, rich poetry and brilliant literary criticism, Susan Glickman is the author of five highly regarded poetry collections, including Running in Prospect Cemetery: New & Selected Poems. Her critical study, The Picturesque and the Sublime: Poetics of the Canadian Landscape, won both the Gabrielle Roy Prize and the Raymond Klibansky Prize. Susan Glickman has been described as one of the finest of Canadian authors. She is a confident, gifted writer whose poetry and fiction exemplify beauty, insight, and power.

"The Violin Lover is a beautifully written novel, one that fans of violin music, as well as readers of serious literary fiction, will particularly appreciate." — Violinist.com

"Dividing the novel into three parts, Glickman masterfully structures The Violin Lover in sonata form, mirroring and reflecting the musical narrative themes that underpin the book ... Glickman's mastery and maturity are evident in The Violin Lover. Its final moments are as moving and inevitable as the flow of music toward its conclusion. Readers will be richly rewarded by the beauty and power of her artistry." — Globe and Mail

242 pages
Pub date: March 17, 2006