OVERTURE. By Yael Goldstein. Doubleday. 293 pages. $24.95.
"Overture" is nothing less than magnificent. This story of Natasha Darsky, a virtuoso violinist the likes of which have not been seen since Paganini, is one whose words lift themselves off the page and play a roaring symphony of love and art into your ear.
Yes, love and art. These concepts are perhaps the most difficult to portray meaningfully, yet Yael Goldstein has the narrative and, apparently, emotional strength to bring them blossoming into truth.
The plot of "Overture" is fairly simple. Young Darsky grows up in Manhattan and takes up the violin. Her path to celebrity includes Harvard, a composer named Jean Paul Boumedienne, the concert halls of Europe and eventually a daughter who outshines her musically and creatively.
What is not so simple is the exceptional lyricism and clarity with which Goldstein writes; one can almost see ghostly music notes behind the letters. The book is elegant, romantic, exciting and affecting. Indeed, a passion for classical music pulses through "Overture" so thoroughly that after reading it, you just might want to take up playing an instrument.