by Barbara Snow Gilbert
When she was three years old, Clara started playing the piano. Her father, a former opera singer, and her mother, a conductor, have made numerous sacrifices in order to nurture her gift. Now seventeen, she is competing for a prestigious piano scholarship.
Practice has consumed her time for many years, but when Clara injures her wrist, she experiences “normal life” for the very first time. It makes her wonder if a career as a concert pianist is really what she wants.
Gilbert does a good job in showing the ever-tightening pressure surrounding Clara, culminating in the suspense of the piano competition. Clara’s situation is something many prodigies may experience; how she handles the aftermath is sensitively portrayed.