Prairie Sonata

Young Adult - Coming of Age
288 Pages
Reviewed on 04/14/2021
Buy on Amazon

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Free Book Program, which is open to all readers and is completely free. The author will provide you with a free copy of their book in exchange for an honest review. You and the author will discuss what sites you will post your review to and what kind of copy of the book you would like to receive (eBook, PDF, Word, paperback, etc.). To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email.

This author participates in the Readers' Favorite Book Donation Program, which was created to help nonprofit and charitable organizations (schools, libraries, convalescent homes, soldier donation programs, etc.) by providing them with free books and to help authors garner more exposure for their work. This author is willing to donate free copies of their book in exchange for reviews (if circumstances allow) and the knowledge that their book is being read and enjoyed. To begin, click the purple email icon to send this author a private email. Be sure to tell the author who you are, what organization you are with, how many books you need, how they will be used, and the number of reviews, if any, you would be able to provide.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emily-Jane Hills Orford for Readers' Favorite

The first movement of a classical music sonata begins with an elaborate exposition to entice listening ears. The melodies introduced in the exposition are then developed and expanded upon until one reaches a climax and a resolution, a restatement of the opening musical ideas ensues. Sometimes there is a coda, like an epilogue in literature. But this is only the first movement – there are at least two movements in a sonata and sometimes as many as five. Fast, slow, fast, and very fast are the standard marked tempos. There are so many parallels between a musical sonata and life. Perhaps that is why composers produced so many sonatas during their musical careers. Mira is a young Jewish girl growing up in rural Manitoba, right in the heart of the Canadian prairies, in the early years after World War II. She attends a Jewish school and learns the traditions. But one teacher, in particular, touched her the most; the strangely quiet teacher who taught her class and then herself privately in music for several years. The students called him Chaver B. This teacher had a dire secret that filled him with overwhelming remorse. When he finally reveals this secret to Mira, after they’ve developed a deep friendship through a combined love of music, Mira is shocked that humanity could be so cruel.

Sandy Shefrin Rabin’s novel, Prairie Sonata, is a moving story about coming of age, the revelation of horrific events in history, and the effect that music has to bind all the unrest and unsettled emotions into one dramatically beautifully, soulfully wrenching work of art. Music, literature, art, and life combine with the horrors of history in this compelling, compassionate novel. The plot follows Mira’s childhood as she grows in both her love of knowledge and her maturing interest in music. The reader is intrigued by Mira’s intuitive view of her teacher: she knows there is a secret eating away at him, but she doesn’t understand what it is. This riveting story takes an intense look at the aftermath of the horrors of World War II. Like Anthony Doerr’s All the Light We Cannot See, the overwhelming power of this narrative reopens the wounds of past crimes as we enter new realms of horrific events, something reflected upon in the story’s coda as an older Mira wonders if the world will ever be a safe, sane place. With powerful control of the language, narrative, plot, and dialogue, this story will have readers pondering on the beauty and the agony of life; past, present, and future.