Rhapsody by Mitchell James Kaplan

Rating: 4 out of 5.
"Historical Fiction" genre card with glasses and book photo
Book cover with woman at piano
Book Genre Tag "Romance": A couple kissing

I loved the setting for this story. The descriptions of NYC in the 1920s were wonderful and really helped to create the world and environment for the characters. The characters were people that I never really knew more about outside of their music, so I was really excited to learn more. I had no idea there was a decade long affair between Kay and George. It was surprising, and I enjoyed learning about it.

The musical references were an exciting portion of this book. I loved the way the author portrayed Kay and George’s love for music. As we jump through time, the thing I found most consistent about these two people was that while they both seemed to love each other, truly they were IN love with music, and that was the actual love story in this book.

Book in front of stack of books and flower

The characters themselves were underwhelming, and the only drawback to this book. I struggled to connect to any of them throughout the story, and I walked away with a bit less respect for them than I started with. I did like how the story shows Kay’s experiences as a woman in a man’s world.

Overall, I thought this was a joyous ride that took me on a musical journey! I’m still playing their songs! I loved learning about the musical talents of George and Kay, and about how their careers evolved throughout their relationship together.

To Read or Not To Read:

I would recommend Rhapsody to readers that enjoy historical fiction, especially surrounding the lives of specific people rather than historic events.

Where to Find This Book:

Rhapsody by Mitchell James Kaplan is available at these sites.

Amazon ~ Kindle ~ Goodreads

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“Mitchell James Kaplan [brings] his impressive knowledge of history, composition, and the heart’s whims to bear on this shining rendition of Swift and Gershwin’s star-crossed love.” —Therese Anne Fowler, New York Times bestselling author of Z and A Good Neighborhood

“A lilting, jazzy ballad as catchy as a Gershwin tune…Rhapsody will have you humming, toe-tapping, and singing along with every turn of the page.” —Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network and The Huntress

One evening in 1924, Katharine “Kay” Swift—the restless but loyal society wife of wealthy banker James Warburg and a serious pianist who longs for recognition—attends a concert. The piece: Rhapsody in Blue. The composer: a brilliant, elusive young musical genius named George Gershwin.

Kay is transfixed, helpless to resist the magnetic pull of George’s talent, charm, and swagger. Their ten-year love affair, complicated by her conflicted loyalty to her husband and the twists and turns of her own musical career, ends only with George’s death from a brain tumor at the age of thirty-eight.

Set in Jazz Age New York City, this stunning work of fiction, for fans of The Paris Wife and Loving Frank, explores the timeless bond between two brilliant, strong-willed artists. George Gershwin left behind not just a body of work unmatched in popular musical history, but a woman who loved him with all her heart, knowing all the while that he belonged not to her, but to the world.

Just the Facts:

Rhapsody by Mitchell James Kaplan
Genre: Historical Fiction
Page Count: 352 
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pub Date: March 2, 2021

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I was provided a gifted copy of this book for free. I am leaving my review voluntarily.

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