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The Ensemble: A Novel Audiobook, by Aja Gabel Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Aja Gabel Narrator: Rebecca Lowman Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2018 ISBN: 9780525528364
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A sweeping debut novel about four young musicians—a story of art, ambition, and love

Brit is the second violinist, a beautiful and quiet orphan; the viola is Henry, a prodigy who’s always had it easy; the cellist is Daniel, the oldest, the angry skeptic who sleeps around; and on first violin is Jana, their flinty, resilient leader. Together, they are the Van Ness String Quartet.

In The Ensemble, each character takes the spotlight and picks up the melody, from the group’s youthful rocky start through to middle age, through both devastating failures and wild success. As they navigate heartbreak and marriage, triumph and loss, betrayal and enduring loyalty, they are always tied together—by career, by necessity, by the intensity of their art, by the secrets they carry together, and by choosing each other over and over again.

The Ensemble is a heart-skipping portrait of artistic ambition, friendship, and the tenderness of youth. With heart, clarity and poignant understanding, Aja Gabel examines the relationships between trust, love, and the magical, messy world of making music.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A riveting look inside the world of classical musicians and an intimate study of friendships.”

    Marie Claire

  • “Gabel’s first novel explores the ups and downs of their chamber group, the Van Ness Quartet, as their relationships and talents grow and mature. Each character is fully developed, each action and emotion is believable and relatable…Gabel explores friendship and art with great warmth, humanity, and wisdom. Each of the four parts begins with a selection of chamber music pieces that make a wonderful and fitting aural backdrop.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • A LibraryReads Pick
  • A Library Journal Editor’s Pick for Spring

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About the Author

Aja Gabel, a former concert cellist, is an author whose writing has appeared in BOMB, Kenyon Review, Glimmer Train, and elsewhere. She earned her BA at Wesleyan University, her MFA at the University of Virginia, and a PhD in literature and creative writing from the University of Houston. She is the recipient of awards from Atlantic Monthly, the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, Literary Arts Oregon, and the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, where she was a 2012–2013 fellow in fiction.

About the Narrator

Rebecca Lowman is an actress and audiobook narrator who has won numerous Earphones Awards. She has starred in numerous television shows, including Law & Order, Big Love, NCIS, and Grey’s Anatomy, among many others. She earned her MFA from Columbia University.