The Ensemble

The Ensemble

The addictive debut novel about four young friends navigating the cutthroat world of music and their complex relationships with each other, as ambition, passion, and love intertwine over the course of their lives. Brit is the second violinist, a beautiful and quiet orphan; the viola is Henry, a prodigy who?s always had it easy; the cellist is Daniel, the oldest, the angry s The addictive debut novel about four young friends navigating the cutthroat world of music and their complex relati...

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Title:The Ensemble
Author:Aja Gabel
Rating:
Genres:Fiction
ISBN:The Ensemble
ISBN
Edition Language:English
Format Type:Hardcover
Number of Pages:352 pages pages

The Ensemble Reviews

  • Celeste Ng
    Nov 21, 2017
    In the tradition of THE INTERESTINGS and THE SECRET HISTORY, THE ENSEMBLE teases apart the strands of an intense and long-lasting group friendship that both bolsters and binds its members. Aja Gabel's powerful debut offers a sensitive portrait of four young musicians forging their path...
  • Sonia Reppe
    Apr 04, 2018
    Four members of a competitive string quartet share good times and bad, and become like a family. Spanning grad school to mid-life, from California to NYC (and back), with flashbacks and the multiple viewpoints between the four players, the plot could've been tighter, but Gabel writes w...
  • Cathy
    Apr 29, 2018
    *ARC A wonderful peek into the life of a quartet. I find the concept of 4 acting as one such an interesting concept and heart wrenching at the same time. This is a gentle book to read. It isn?t a fast-paced thriller, and it isn?t an epic journey. This is very interesting story abo...
  • Katelyn
    May 04, 2018
    Wow. At first I didn't think I'd keep with this book, but I became completely immersed in Gabel's story of four musicians who form a quartet and then I couldn't put it down. She follows the quartet from conservatory to middle age as they grow and stretch in their professional and perso...
  • Jamie
    Nov 18, 2017
    I loved this. I loved it I loved it. Never have I read such glorious writing about music and about musicians. I want to say something poetic about how the author builds the four characters into a harmony even when they're pushing against one another in dissonance, and how it's about a ...
  • Rachel Watkins
    Jan 22, 2018
    If you're a musician and play with others, you are part of an intimate relationship. THE ENSEMBLE is the story of a string quartet together for years that examines the connections each person has with the other. Aja Gabel's debut is lovely and I highly recommend listening to the pieces...
  • Joanie
    Mar 13, 2018
    If this could hook me in as much as the premise of it is hooking me in right now (I will buy a hardcover of this as a birthday present to myself oh my god), hello, new obsession. I never had the discipline or the talent to stick it with classical music beyond high school so I admire so...
  • Jenn
    Mar 20, 2018
    Read via a Netgalley ARC I really, really liked this, despite having like NO musical knowledge. Everything about it was just so interesting! ...
  • Kristen Beverly
    Mar 01, 2018
    4 lives are intertwined by music. It?s messy, beautiful and poetic, much like the writing in this book. As a musician, I loved reading about how their music and lives intersect. ...
  • Dana Blazsek
    Apr 26, 2018
    Thank you to Edelweiss and the publisher for an advanced copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 4 Stars-- This book, that spans years, moved at the perfect pace. Not too slow and not too fast. I was vested in all four characters fast. Each of them was likeable and unlik...
  • Susan
    May 06, 2018
    I enjoyed this book and the story of four musicians. It is one of those books in which not much really happens but it spans many years and is a great character study. It was beautifully written. But I felt there were just parts my eyes would just skip over and that there was a lot of f...
  • Allie Rowbottom
    Jan 30, 2018
    THE ENSEMBLE is a stunning debut, almost unbelievable in its range, lyricism and beauty. This book reminded me of character studies and coming of age novels like FATES AND FURIES and THE MARRIAGE PLOT, with the added complexity of a quartet of characters. Their entwined lives, drives a...
  • Kim McGee
    Mar 20, 2018
    This coming of age story follows the life and career of the four members of the Van Ness String Quartet. These young driven classically trained music students begin in college and we follow their lyrical story stopping at brief intermissions broken into important concerts in their live...
  • Rebecca Foster
    Apr 18, 2018
    In May 1994, the members of the Van Ness String Quartet are completing their final graduate recital at a San Francisco conservatory and preparing for the Esterhazy quartet competition in the Canadian Rockies. These four talented musicians ? Jana, first violin; Brit, second violin; He...
  • Sherwestonstec
    Mar 25, 2018
    I did enjoy this book! ?Jana, Brit, Daniel, Henry. They never would have been friends if they hadn?t needed one another. They would never have found one another except for the art that drew them together. They would never have become family without their love for the music, for on...
  • Kathi
    Oct 16, 2017
    The tempo and flow of this book really reminded me of A Little Life. The four friends, alternating chapters, from when they meet as kids to when they become older, etc.... but the subject matter was obviously quite different. I enjoyed learning about music and a topic I would not norma...
  • Kelleyann
    Jan 17, 2018
    This was like The Secret History with a string quartet and a happy ending. Not as climactic for sure, but the writing and characters are so beautifully arranged and well executed. It was definitely a bit of a slow burner, not a lot dramatically happening plot-wise but I thought the rel...
  • Carrie
    May 13, 2018
    I think the characters were developed beautifully. Though I didn't find any of them particularly likable, they had depth and complexity that revealed itself over the course of the book. The author's experience as a musician was evident and I really enjoyed the sections about the compet...
  • Irene
    Jan 25, 2018
    It is such a pleasure to read a book like The Ensemble where your heart warms to characters as if they are acquaintances in your own life that slowly turn into friends. Gabel does an excellent job teetering between heartbreak and revelation, mapping the punctuated changes of people as ...
  • Julie Anna
    May 20, 2018
    I was sent a copy of this book as a part of a Goodreads giveaway. The Ensemble is a story about the lives of the four members of the Van Ness string quartet, and the depths of their relationships with each other and those around them. It's a book for musicians and non-musicians alik...
  • Katie Smith
    Mar 20, 2018
    It's fitting that a book centered around music would have a lyrical writing style. The Ensemble is a perfect debut novel with that unputdownable quality you look for and characters that are expertly developed. I wanted to live in this book and be friends with these characters. I'm alre...
  • Hannah Simpson
    May 15, 2018
    While the writing was lovely and strong a lot of what Gabel was trying to say got lost in technical musical terms. Also there wasn?t much of a plot. No driving narrative. Perhaps future efforts by Gabel will home her excellent writing while showing improvement in storytelling. ...
  • Liz
    May 09, 2018
    The Van Ness String Quartet is a young group studying at the Conservatory in San Francisco. The two women and two men devote their lives to perfecting their skill and building a career in the highly competitive, ever decreasing world of classical music performance. This novel describes...
  • Laura
    Apr 17, 2018
    Read the full review here: http://pageandplate.com/the-ensemble I read this book in about 24 hours, mostly because I could. not. put. it. down. It's not because there was something totally edge-of-my-seat exciting or suspenseful happening. It was because I was so desperately addicte...
  • Sophia
    May 07, 2018
    This novel blew me away. At first, I fell in love with it based on the cover, but by the end of the first narrative (each part is broken into narration by members of the quartet), I was head over heels for the group and the words Aja Gabel used to piece their lives together. I have ...
  • Kate
    Feb 11, 2018
    I think this will be my favorite book of the year! THE ENSEMBLE follows four musicians over a decade and a half, beginning with their string quartet debut in graduate school, and then dropping in at two- to four-year increments. The quartet's story (and their stories as individuals) is...
  • Brandon Gutermuth
    May 19, 2018
    A brilliant, beautiful novel about what binds us together. These characters will stay with me forever. ...
  • Danielle Lazarin
    Nov 08, 2017
    Being in a quartet seems more difficult than being in a marriage. There is so much to hold together, so much work to be done, so many boundaries to delicately cross with people who ask you for everything and yet who you are tired of walking on eggshells with, so much unexpected bodily ...
  • Lydia
    Oct 06, 2017
    Friendship and relationships over decades- it reminds me of Meg Wolitzer's amazing THE INTERSTINGS centered around music vs camp. ...
  • Brooke
    Jan 03, 2018
    BROOKE?S REVIEW Aja Gabel?s lyrical novel, The Ensemble, follows the Van Ness Quartet from their time at the conservatory into their adult lives as professional musicians. Brit, Henry, Daniel, and Jana are as unique as the instruments they play, but they are inextricably tied to...