A 21st-Century Fairy Tale
by Jessica Duchen
Published by Unbound on 29 November 2018
£9.99 paperback, £3.99 e-book
Odette is the sixth novel by the author, music critic and librettist Jessica Duchen.
• It has been 26 years in the making.
• It is ideal for the Christmas season and its action takes place in December.
• A wide audience knows and loves Swan Lake. This book brings the ballet’s heroine to life in our own world.
• An unusual, whimsical book, magical realist with romance, music, humour and a feminist twist.
• Likely to attract young adult readers as well as an adult readership, especially those who enjoy the magical stories of Joanne Harris, Philip Pullman and JK Rowling.
• Could be described as Swan Lake meets Bridget Jones meets A Christmas Carol.
• A positive, uplifting story about friendship, love, loyalty and empathy.
• Deals at an oblique angle with contemporary issues including homelessness, exploitation, illegal immigrants and integration.
When a swan crashes through her window at the height of a winter storm, Mitzi Fairweather decides to nurse the injured bird back to health. At sunset, though, it becomes a human being.
This unexpected visitor is Odette, the swan princess – alone, in danger and adrift in 21st-century Britain, dependent on the kindness of strangers. Bird by day, woman by night, with no way to go home to Russia, she remains convinced that only a man’s vow of eternal love can break her spell.
Mitzi is determined to help Odette, but as the two try to hide the improbable truth, their web of deception grows increasingly tangled…
A contemporary twist on Swan Lake, Odette asks – in the best tradition of fairy tales – whether against all the odds, hope, empathy and humanity can win the day.
A narrated concert based on ODETTE is in the planning stages with the award-winning violinist Fenella Humphreys. pianist Viv McLean and Jessica as narrator. Music will include a celebration of Tchaikovsky’s magical score for Swan Lake, plus works by Chopin, Liszt and Gershwin. The first performances will be at Music at Mansfield Street, London W1, 17 April 2019 and St Mary’s, Perivale, 27 April 2019.
Review: Ever since i was little Swan Lake had been my aabsolute favorite story. I’ve always wanted to see the ballet and maybe one day i will. For now though i read books and watch movies about Swan Lake. My favorite as a kid was the cartoon the Swan Princess, and i have a barbie movir Swan Lake. Anyways this story is one of my favorites and this book quickyly dug a place into my heart. I woulf recommend anyone that loves swan lake or fairytales in general to pick this book up. Personally i couldnt put it down.
Rating: Like always im giving two ratings since this is a blog tour read. My rating on my rating system i use would be 3 stars. On a regular system i give this book 5 stars.
JESSICA DUCHEN- BIOGRAPHY
Jessica Duchen is an acclaimed author and journalist, specialising in words for, with and about music. Her work has appeared in The Independent, The Guardian and The Sunday Times, plus numerous magazines around the world. Her first five novels have gathered a loyal fan-base and wide acclaim. Music plays a vital role in her books, and she frequently narrates concert versions of Alicia’s Gift, Hungarian Dances and Ghost Variations.
Jessica is the librettist for the opera Silver Birch by Roxanna Panufnik, commissioned by Garsington Opera and shortlisted for a 2018 International Opera Award. Current projects include the libretto for a youth opera with composer Paul Fincham for Garsington 2019 (an updating of an Oscar Wilde fairy tale) and two large-scale choral works with Roxanna Panufnik.
She was born within the sound of Bow Bells, studied music at Cambridge and held editorial posts on several music magazines before going freelance to concentrate on writing. She edited a piano magazine for five years and was then classical music and ballet correspondent for The Independent from 2004-2016. Her output also includes plays, poetry, biographies of the composers Erich Wolfgang Korngold and Gabriel Fauré (published by Phaidon) and her popular classical music blog, JDCMB. She lives in London with her violinist husband and two cats. She enjoys playing the piano, cookery, long walks and obscure books about music.
PRAISE FOR JESSICA DUCHEN’S NOVELS AND LIBRETTOS
“A thrilling read” – John Suchet, The Daily Mail, ‘My Best Read’, Best Books of 2016
“Enthralling…Jessica writes with an unpredictable and original voice and a dazzling perceptiveness, and I was hooked from the first page. A sensational achievement.” – Joanna Lumley
“Jessica Duchen’s libretto is powerful and poetic” – Richard Morrison, The Times (on Silver Birch)
“It is very rarely that I find a new writer whose work I love so much.” – Katie Fforde
“Gripping…moving and uplifting” – BBC Music Magazine, Book of the Month
Jessica Duchen has music in her soul … and she uses the intrinsic harmonies that so patently instruct her own life as the inspiration for her clever and compassionate novels. – Lancashire Evening Post
For a longer synopsis and an extract from the book please visit: https://unbound.com/books/odette/
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