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The New York Times-bestselling author of A Fierce Radiance and City of Light returns with a new powerful and passionate novel—inspired by historical events—about two women, one European and one American, and the mysterious choral masterpiece by Johann Sebastian Bach that changes both their lives.
In the ruins of Germany in 1945, at the end of World War II, American soldier Henry Sachs takes a souvenir, an old music manuscript, from a seemingly deserted mansion and mistakenly kills the girl who tries to stop him.
In America in 2010, Henry’s niece, Susanna Kessler, struggles to rebuild her life after she experiences a devastating act of violence on the streets of New York City. When Henry dies soon after, she uncovers the long-hidden music manuscript. She becomes determined to discover what it is and to return it to its rightful owner, a journey that will challenge her preconceptions about herself and her family’s history—and also offer her an opportunity to finally make peace with the past.
In Berlin, Germany, in 1783, amid the city’s glittering salons where aristocrats and commoners, Christians and Jews, mingle freely despite simmering anti-Semitism, Sara Itzig Levy, a renowned musician, conceals the manuscript of an anti-Jewish cantata by Johann Sebastian Bach, an unsettling gift to her from Bach’s son, her teacher. This work and its disturbing message will haunt Sara and her family for generations to come.
Interweaving the stories of Susanna and Sara, and their families, And After the Fire traverses over two hundred years of history, from the eighteenth century through the Holocaust and into today, seamlessly melding past and present, real and imagined. Lauren Belfer’s deeply researched, evocative, and compelling narrative resonates with emotion and immediacy.
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From New York Times–bestselling author Lauren Belfer, a virtuoso novel that spans centuries and continents to reveal the secret history of a long-lost musical masterpiece by Johann Sebastian Bach—and the two women bound together by its troubled past
Sara Itzig Levy counts herself among the elite of late-eighteenth-century Berlin. An accomplished musician, she conceals a gift she received from her beloved teacher, Wilhelm Friedemann Bach, the son of celebrated composer Johann. The gift: one of the elder Bach’s final cantatas—containing a disturbing message.
In present-day New York City, Susanna Kessler’s charmed life is ripped apart by a devastating act of violence. As she struggles to recover, she learns that her Uncle Henry has committed suicide. He leaves her a cryptic note and a mysterious musical score. Susanna becomes determined to discover the piece’s origin. As Susanna delves into Sara’s world, harrowing questions about her own family’s past start to surface.
Seamlessly slotting fictional characters into history, and studded with real-life musical figures from Beethoven to Felix and Fanny Mendelssohn, Lauren Belfer’s deeply researched, evocative, and compelling narrative resonates with emotion and immediacy.About the Author:
Lauren Belfer’s novel A Fierce Radiance was named a Washington Post Best Novel; an NPR Best Mystery; and a New York Times Editors’ Choice. Her debut novel, City of Light, was a New York Times bestseller as well as a number one Book Sense pick; a New York Times Notable Book; a Library Journal Best Book; and a Main Selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club. She lives in New York City.
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Book Description HarperCollins Publishers 2016-05-10, 2016. Paperback. Condition: New. Paperback. Publisher overstock, may contain remainder mark on edge. Seller Inventory # 9781443448628B
Book Description HarperCollins Publishers, 2016. Condition: New. book. Seller Inventory # M1443448621