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Simon the Fiddler: Book summary and reviews of Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles

Simon the Fiddler

by Paulette Jiles

Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles X
Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles
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  • Published in USA  Apr 2020
    352 pages
    Genre: Historical Fiction

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Book Summary

The critically acclaimed, bestselling author of News of the World and Enemy Women returns to Texas in this atmospheric story, set at the end of the Civil War, about an itinerant fiddle player, a ragtag band of musicians with whom he travels trying to make a living, and the charming young Irish lass who steals his heart.

In March 1865, the long and bitter War between the States is winding down. Till now, twenty-three-year-old Simon Boudlin has evaded military duty thanks to his slight stature, youthful appearance, and utter lack of compunction about bending the truth. But following a barroom brawl in Victoria, Texas, Simon finds himself conscripted, however belatedly, into the Confederate Army. Luckily his talent with a fiddle gets him a comparatively easy position in a regimental band.

Weeks later, on the eve of the Confederate surrender, Simon and his bandmates are called to play for officers and their families from both sides of the conflict. There the quick-thinking, audacious fiddler can't help but notice the lovely Doris Mary Aherne, an indentured girl from Ireland, who is governess to a Union colonel's daughter.

After the surrender, Simon and Doris go their separate ways. He will travel around Texas seeking fame and fortune as a musician. She must accompany the colonel's family to finish her three years of service. But Simon cannot forget the fair Irish maiden, and vows that someday he will find her again.

Incandescent in its beauty, told in Paulette Jiles's trademark spare yet lilting style, Simon the Fiddler is a captivating, bittersweet tale of the chances a devoted man will take, and the lengths he will go to fulfill his heart's yearning.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Imbued with the dust, grit, and grime of Galveston at the close of the Civil War, Simon the Fiddler immerses readers in the challenges of Reconstruction. Jiles brings her singular voice to...[her] latest masterpiece." - Booklist (starred review)

"[A] loving but cleareyed portrait of Texas' vibrant, violent frontier culture...Vividly evocative and steeped in American folkways: more great work from a master storyteller." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"[R]ichly atmospheric...Jiles's limber tale satisfies with welcome splashes of comedy and romance." - Publishers Weekly

The information about Simon the Fiddler shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's online-magazine that keeps our members abreast of notable and high-profile books publishing in the coming weeks. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author of this book and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

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Author Information

Paulette Jiles Author Biography

Photo: Jill Gann

Paulette Jiles is a poet and memoirist. She is the author of Cousins, a memoir, and the bestselling novels Enemy Women and Stormy Weather. She lives in San Antonio, Texas.

Link to Paulette Jiles's Website

Other books by Paulette Jiles at BookBrowse
  • News of the World jacket
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