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A heartwarming story about the powers of music and friendship.
Sarah's hope of becoming a concert pianist was shattered when she bombed an important performance of a Mozart concerto. Now in Munich, she feels like an imposter in her job as a food magazine editor. A chance encounter in a music shop leads to a surprising friendship with an elderly widower with a unique grand piano. When they start meeting to play Mozart's works for four hands, Sarah unravels the mysteries of his war-time past, uproots a musical secret in her own family — and finds the strength to redirect her own future. Laced with melodies from Mozart and Schumann to Toto and Nena, THE GIRL WITH TWENTY FINGERS will delight readers, while asking the question: Can music change lives? Kate Mueser's debut novel cracks open notions of failure and second chances, living to the fullest and dying without regrets, and cultural identity and privilege, making it both timeless and urgently relevant to our age.
“Musicians know guilt. (Too much sforzando! Not enough practice!) When American pianist Sarah Johnson takes her Mozart guilt to Munich, the better to struggle with her shame, her unfinished master's degree, and her search for self, she finds an ancient city thriving on cell phone texts, where World War II has left its excruciating scars. In these complicated conditions, strangers become friends, Mozart brings distant generations together, and piano duets underscore the doubts and hopes of asymmetrical human history. And there's much coffee. A meaty question for readers: Who in the story gives and who receives the greatest gift?” — Virginia Euwer Wolff, National Book Award-winning author of The Mozart Season
“An engrossing and dynamic multi-layered tale of love, loss, and the intricacies that come along with each, The Girl with Twenty Fingers follows a woman who finds her way back to music and herself through the unlikeliest of friendships. Filled with wonderfully flawed characters and lyrical prose, Mueser’s debut is sure to delight the senses. A must read for fans who love stories about secrets, family and second chances.” —Kerry Lonsdale, Wall Street Journal & Amazon Charts Best-selling Author
Kate Mueser was going to become a concert pianist, but instead became a bilingual storyteller with a penchant for music. She spent over a decade working for German broadcaster Deutsche Welle, where she reported and presented an award-winning documentary feature on the future of the book and hosted a TV show on German pop music, her own web video series, and a youth radio show. Kate holds a Bachelor's Degree in Piano Performance from Indiana University and a Masters Degree in Modern European Studies from Columbia University. A California native, she has spent nearly her entire adult life in Germany, with brief interruptions in New York City and Las Vegas. THE GIRL WITH TWENTY FINGERS is Kate's debut novel. It was was largely written while she was pregnant with her twins, during her toddler's naps.