HelenEdith's Blog

The minutiae of my life, plus website updates and book reviews

Book Review: Jane Yardley – Dancing with Dr Kildare

Posted by HelenEdith on June 13, 2009

This book came from the general fiction shelves in the library, and I found much of it to be rather pedestrian. It wasn’t that there was a lack of material: just that things happened rather slowly.

The plot of the book concerns Nina’s recently deceased father, who was a Finnish exile, and in whose locked desk Nina has found a score and parts of Sibelius’s Eighth Symphony, all in her father’s hand.

There are plenty of turns along the way – ballroom dancers and aficionados of the tango, plus Nina’s lifelong love of the actor Richard Chamberlain, particularly in his alter ego of Dr Kildare, which is where the title comes from.

We are drawn on a journey of discovery about the symphony. Initially, Nina wants to suppress it because she cannot see how it can reflect well on her father, which will in turn upset her mother; but then she starts to have doubts about its worth.

This was a well-researched book with a sizeable list of acknowledgements of sources at the end, and puts up a good if fictional case for why there never was an Eighth Symphony by Sibelius.

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