On Different Strings
Guitar virtuoso Amy Ziegler ekes out a precarious living as a teaching assistant in the Mays College music department. One day a mysterious older student shows up: Ian Keenan, an engineering professor and closet songwriter. Opposites attract, and music is the language of the spirit.
Each is passionate about music, and each has been deeply wounded in love. Thus a weird yet wonderful friendship grows between the reserved English academic and the outgoing small-town Texan girl who grew up in poverty. Each secretly starts yearning for more, but the world has other ideas. Soon they become caught in a maelstrom between rivals, exes, their own pasts, activists, and campus bureaucrats. Will the rapids tear them apart, or will love and sanity prevail?
A genre-busting love story. It [...] challenges preconceptions and leaves the reader questioning common wisdom. It is also a bit of a suspense thriller. And there is an element of Kafka.
I'm not usually a big fan of the Romance genre. This book is just different...The characters are very well-developed... I knew I would give this story a very high rating, because I realized how badly I wanted them to succeed, though it seemed impossible. Mr. Arbel subtly drew me into his tale so thoroughly that I was emotionally attached to his characters.
An interesting twist on the classic May-November romance and both lead characters are wonderful. The main "baddie" [...] comes across as both believable and sympathetic...This book is a great example of how you can write a scorching romantic story without explicit sex.