I've just started reading this short novel by the Dutch author Margriet de Moor. Her earlier work, THE VIRTUOSO, is a favorite book of mine - the story of a woman who falls in love with a castrato. de Moor's style is uncluttered, and she keeps you turning the pages.
Anyone interested in opera, singers, and unusual love affairs will enjoy THE VIRTUOSO. The subtle twist at the end was, for me, very satisfying.
KREUTZER SONATA, also a musician-based story, has already served one valuable purpose: it's prompted me to get a recording of Janacek's first string quartet. This is the work around which much of the story revolves. Having devoted most of my music-listening time since age 11 to opera, I often find that it takes references in books or films to get me to listen to non-operatic music. Basically, I have neglected symphonic and chamber music over the years; while I can sing for you GIOCONDA or LUCIA from beginning to end with most of the words, I am totally unfamliar with many standard works from the non-operatic repertoire. Scores used for ballets have been another source of delving into "other" music, so that my collection now includes Part's FRATRES and the Brahms-Schoenberg Quartet.
Onward to Janacek!