Friday, July 4, 2008

The Piano Man

The Piano Man (Mira Hardbacks) by Marcia Preston ~~

Three years after the car accident that killed her 17-year-old son, Nathan, Claire O'Neal clings to grief, her life empty but for imagined conversations with the boy she raised on her own and her hectic job as a San Antonio, Tex., real estate agent. Preston (Butterfly House) strikes an uneven tone in this sentimental novel about loss and letting go. When therapy doesn't help, Claire decides to chase after Nathan's heart, which was transplanted to Mason McKinnon, a concert violinist with heart disease. She tracks Mason down to Sante Fe, New Mexico, where she finds him working as a piano player in a seedy bar, "wasting his health and a providential talent." She schemes her way into Mason's life and strives to preserve her son's gift by preparing healthful meals for Mason and hiding his cigarettes. Their friendship survives the revelation of her identity as the mother of his organ donor, and evolves into a strange romance. Awkwardly woven in with this story are peeks at other characters significantly affected by Nathan's death: his high school girlfriend Lindsey and the trucker who's wracked with guilt for his role in Nathan's accident. Preston's well-intentioned novel ultimately offers redemption and healing for its tragedy-stricken characters. (from Amazon)

Three years earlier Claire loses her son in a freak accident. In the wake of her grief she donates her sons heart to someone who is in dire need of it. While trying to get on with her life, Claire has visions of her son and is able to speak with him. He tells her that she needs to move on with her life. And in order for her to do that she seeks out the man who has received her sons heart. Mason is wasting his life away playing piano in a bar instead of the Symphony like he used to. At this point he doesn't care if he lives or dies. Until Claire comes into his life. At first he doesn't know who she is, but when she reveals herself they begin to work together towards healing and moving forward. We also meet the man who caused the accident as well as Nathans best friend and girlfriend - all of which are trying to move on in their own ways. A heartwarming tale with no villians, just ordinary people with lessons to learn.

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