Song of Names by Norman Lebrecht was the winner of the 2003 Whitbread First Novel Award Mr. Lebrecht is a British commentator on music and cultural affairs and, according to his website ( http://www.normanlebrecht.com/), he has written 11 books about music.
Song of Names was his first novel (obviously, since that’s what he won the award in) and combines the two worlds of classical music and
Martin grew up to take over his father’s company. Despite many efforts over the years, Martin was unable to learn what became of Dovidl. It was not until 40 years after Dovidl disappeared, that Martin hears a young boy play the violin and realized that the boy could only have learned his technique from Dovidl.
The book is 311 pages, but it didn’t really start to grab me until about two-thirds through (page 223, to be exact). I thought that the first part of the book was excessively wordy and had trouble staying with it. However, after Martin began to suspect that Dovidl might still be alive, I became interested. And when the Song of Names became evident, I was hooked. The book was good enough to stay with until that point, but I was surprised how well-written the last third of the story was. I don’t want to tell anymore of the story so I don’t ruin the book for others. It is a very good story and I recommend it!