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Simon the Fiddler

por Paulette Jiles

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
2585277,861 (3.79)81
The critically acclaimed, bestselling author of News of the World and Enemy Women returns to Texas in this atmospheric story, set at the end of the Civil War, about an itinerant fiddle player, a ragtag band of musicians with whom he travels trying to make a living, and the charming young Irish lass who steals his heart. In March 1865, the long and bitter War between the States is winding down. Till now, twenty-three-year-old Simon Boudlin has evaded military duty thanks to his slight stature, youthful appearance, and utter lack of compunction about bending the truth. But following a barroom brawl in Victoria, Texas, Simon finds himself conscripted, however belatedly, into the Confederate Army. Luckily his talent with a fiddle gets him a comparatively easy position in a regimental band. Weeks later, on the eve of the Confederate surrender, Simon and his bandmates are called to play for officers and their families from both sides of the conflict. There the quick-thinking, audacious fiddler can't help but notice the lovely Doris Mary Dillon, an indentured girl from Ireland, who is governess to a Union colonel's daughter. After the surrender, Simon and Doris go their separate ways. He will travel around Texas seeking fame and fortune as a musician. She must accompany the colonel's family to finish her three years of service. But Simon cannot forget the fair Irish maiden, and vows that someday he will find her again. Incandescent in its beauty, told in Paulette Jiles's trademark spare yet lilting style, Simon the Fiddler is a captivating, bittersweet tale of the chances a devoted man will take, and the lengths he will go to fulfill his heart's yearning.… (mais)
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Simon had avoided being conscripted into either the Northern or the Confederate army during the American Civil War. Instead he travelled, played his fiddle and dodged army conscription men.

But his luck ran out and, caught at last. he became part of a Confederate Regimental Band at the end of the war. The war ran its course. Lincoln was dead. Lee had surrendered; but Simon’s army unit had not been disbursed. A Union officer who had not seen combat during the war decided to attack them for a bit of glory, and they were quickly overrun.

But luck runs both ways, and after his capture, Simon was forced to play at a soiree at the Union headquarters. There he saw a lovely young woman whom he discovered was an indentured Irish servant to a martinet of a Union office. She had three more years on her indenture, and would not be allowed to speak or write to any man outside the officer’s home.

Simon loved a challenge and knew he would need to devise ingenious ruses to communicate. At the same time he felt he had three years to negotiate the post-Civil war Texas frontier and, with his fiddle as his only asset, accumulate enough money to be able to offer her a future if he could win her. Would the girl be safe that long?

This is light historical fiction, written with interesting details about the time and place. It’s an American western, but much more nuanced than the western writings of fifty years ago.

There’s a quick glimpse of Captain Kidd, the protagonist of News of the World, a book where Simon also appears. I suspect there are other characters mentioned that appear in her other post-Civil War books about the western frontier. It will be fun to ferret them out.

I’ll definitely be reading more. ( )
  streamsong | Mar 19, 2021 |
A fun, although sometimes scary, tale set in Texas immediately after the civil war. The trials of the main characters are made more difficult by the chaos of the times. The culture, history, and landscape are vividly presented as the backdrop for a musical band of intriguing characters and a love story. ( )
  snash | Feb 14, 2021 |
Simon the Fidler is an historical novel set in the chaotic world of Texas just after the Civil War. It is most interesting in the view it provides of this era. As a novel, it is weaker, mostly dealing with the life of Simon and his love for an Irish immigrant girl. ( )
  M_Clark | Jan 8, 2021 |
The volume of music discussed in this book reminded me of Frog Music by Emma Donoghue. Two books that should have sound track accompaniment. ( )
  jalfredb | Dec 29, 2020 |
Esta crítica foi escrita no âmbito dos Primeiros Críticos do LibraryThing.
I am a big fan of the author’s previous novel, News of the World, but this one was hard to get through. Simon was not a likable character and I found myself with no real interest in whether he got the girl or not. There were some interesting moments but I just didn’t connect with the story as a whole. ( )
  cwhisenant11 | Nov 23, 2020 |
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The critically acclaimed, bestselling author of News of the World and Enemy Women returns to Texas in this atmospheric story, set at the end of the Civil War, about an itinerant fiddle player, a ragtag band of musicians with whom he travels trying to make a living, and the charming young Irish lass who steals his heart. In March 1865, the long and bitter War between the States is winding down. Till now, twenty-three-year-old Simon Boudlin has evaded military duty thanks to his slight stature, youthful appearance, and utter lack of compunction about bending the truth. But following a barroom brawl in Victoria, Texas, Simon finds himself conscripted, however belatedly, into the Confederate Army. Luckily his talent with a fiddle gets him a comparatively easy position in a regimental band. Weeks later, on the eve of the Confederate surrender, Simon and his bandmates are called to play for officers and their families from both sides of the conflict. There the quick-thinking, audacious fiddler can't help but notice the lovely Doris Mary Dillon, an indentured girl from Ireland, who is governess to a Union colonel's daughter. After the surrender, Simon and Doris go their separate ways. He will travel around Texas seeking fame and fortune as a musician. She must accompany the colonel's family to finish her three years of service. But Simon cannot forget the fair Irish maiden, and vows that someday he will find her again. Incandescent in its beauty, told in Paulette Jiles's trademark spare yet lilting style, Simon the Fiddler is a captivating, bittersweet tale of the chances a devoted man will take, and the lengths he will go to fulfill his heart's yearning.

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