Novel set in 1980s Kingston, JAMAICA
The Trumpet Lesson
Era(s): 1990s / 1960s
When Callie Quinn became pregnant at seventeen in 1960s rural Missouri, her outraged father, with her mother’s acquiescence, insisted that no one know–and Callie complied. She went away, and she gave up her baby. But not for their reasons. She did it to protect the baby’s father–a black teen–from the era’s racist violence. Decades later, now a translator in Mexico, Callie and her closeted gay friend, Armando, search for his missing dog. Worried that Armando will lose his Paris love, too, if he doesn’t come out, Callie invents a tale of her fiancé’s inconvenient death in his closet. Meanwhile, her true losses remain as hidden as the river that winds beneath Guanajuato’s historic center. When Pamela, a musician whose music flows from her heart, enters Callie’s life, Callie takes up the trumpet–and begins to dream of opening her own heart. But instead she remains silent, hiding her longing and risking giving up everyone she dares to love in order to safeguard her secret. Callie tells herself she does so to protect her daughter, but ultimately, in order to speak, she must confront the deepest reasons for her silence–the ones she’s been concealing even from herself.
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