The Other La Bohème

Fiction - General
364 Pages
Reviewed on 02/25/2017
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

The Other La Bohème by Yorker Keith is aptly labeled literary fiction, an interesting story that explores the life and career of the Dolci Quattro. After their breathtaking performance of Puccini’s well-known opera, La Bohème, during their graduation, four friends form a band called the Dolci Quattro. Set in the very complex and rich backdrop of New York City, the Dolci Quattro pursues their dream and embraces a Bohemian lifestyle. But all is not sweet and easy. Readers will watch them as they fall in love, as they experience betrayal, and as they face obstacles and family challenges. What is it that keeps them together?

Yorker Keith writes beautifully and those who love music, especially fans of La Bohème, will be smitten by this story as well as those who just enjoy the opera. The author shows great knowledge of music and writes confidently about it. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’d not lived this experience personally. The writing is elegant, flowing like music, and polished. The plot is well-paced and the conflict developed around the career and the love experiences of the characters helps to give the entire story a strong dynamic. The characters are well-explored and I enjoyed the psychological depth of the story. One of the things I enjoyed about the book is how the author skillfully weaves elements of the original La Bohème into the story. The narrative is great and the prose so descriptive that it allows the reader to have a great feel for the characters. The Other La Bohème is, indeed, a real treat for music lovers.

Tracy A. Fischer

In an excellent new book by author Yorker Keith, The Other La Bohème is a story that will grab readers from the very first pages and keep them obsessively reading all the way through until the very end. Delving into the cutthroat world of professional opera singers in New York City, the story focuses on four friends who met in music school; Jennifer (soprano), Stephanie (mezzo-soprano), Henry (tenor), and John (baritone). Determined to make it in opera, they band together to form a group called the Dolci Quattro, and work together towards success. Just as they are finding what they thought they wanted as they prepare to perform together in the nearly forgotten opera La Bohème by Leoncavallo, known as “the other La Bohème," their personal lives seem to be falling apart. Dealing with cheating fiancé, a potential divorce, family pressures and an inability to find love, the four seem to be at a point that they may have to give up their chances of personal happiness for their careers. Will they ever find happiness, both personally and professionally? You'll need to read the book to find out!

I loved The Other La Bohème. Loved. It. How's that for a review? Well, it's definitely how I felt about this amazing new offering by author Yorker Keith. The author has done a fantastic job in creating characters that readers will connect with, relate to and truly come to care about. If that isn't a hallmark of a great author, I'm not sure what is. The author's ability in setting a scene is simply second to none, and readers will often feel as if they have simply slipped through the pages to the opera in New York at any given time. Any reader who is interested in a great work of literary fiction should absolutely give this book a read. I am so pleased to highly recommend The Other La Bohème and I look forward to reading more from author Yorker Keith as soon as possible!

Gisela Dixon

The Other La Bohème by Yorker Keith is an intertwined story about the lives of four close friends set against the backdrop of the world of opera and theatre. The story begins with an introduction to the main protagonists around whom the story revolves: Henry, Stephanie, John, and Jennifer. These four friends are all pursuing careers in music, theatre, and opera in New York City and pledge to remain friends and support each other throughout their music careers, no matter what. As the story unfolds, the past meets the present as each reflects on their own experiences with life, relationships, love, and romance. Each of their individual stories comes together beautifully as they go through their ups and downs while still remaining true to who they are and their dreams.

The Other La Bohème by Yorker Keith is an enjoyable read and would be particularly interesting to anyone associated with the world of drama, theatre, music, singing, and opera, especially on Broadway. Even to non-musicians, this is a fascinating glimpse into the inner workings of the field of theatre, and opera in particular, including the highs and lows, achievements and rivalries that go with it. I enjoyed the portrayals of the characters in the book and the writing is fluid and keeps moving at a steady pace. In the end, this is a book about human lives and relationships, and the backdrop of Manhattan and New York City Broadway theatre just makes it that much more interesting. I found this to be an entertaining read!