The latest Advanced Reader Copy, actually a proof copy, that this pedometer geek read was Litty Mathew’s The Musician’s Secret, her debut novel. It may have been her debut, but after reading it, this reader would like to read more by Ms. Mathew. It was received as a Goodreads giveaway, and this is the extended review.
The Musician’s Secret
by Litty Mathew
Published by Third Floor Publishing, 2015
As the back cover states: “We’ve all pretended to be something we’re not. But Rupen Najarian, an eighty-three-year-old musician living in Glendale, California, has built his whole existence on a lie.”
Maestro Rupen Najarian plays the duduk, an ancient Anatolian flute. The duduk is an instrument traditionally carved from the wood of apricot trees (typically Prunus armeniaca) and when played well, it sounds like a voice wailing or the wind howling across a mountain top. He is the master of it, playing all over the world. He lives the high life (he’s rich and famous with the trappings of high-class Armenian living) until his deeply buried secret comes to the attention of a stalker and blackmailer, twenty-year-old Armenian immigrant Haik.
As the story begins, Rupen knows that his time is limited as he has been given a terminal diagnosis. Yet from the moment he meets Haik, life is never quite the same for the master. Haik (Rupen’s stalker, blackmailer, and personal thorn in his side) pushes Rupen into situations that makes him uncomfortable to say the least, that is, until Rupen pushes back (for Rupen is not just a master of the duduk).
As he and Haik become better acquainted, Rupen’s story is revealed, lie and all. And once his lie is revealed, does it destroy his life and the love of everyone and everything he knows? Or will he be redeemed even unto death?
His story encompasses the time of the Armenian Genocide of 1915 and up to the present in 1992. Mathew presents the Armenian immigrant experience in a heartfelt and poignant manner. The characters are realistic; the situations are as well. Not only is The Musician’s Secret a worthy read, this story sheds light on a time and event many may not be aware of (at least this reader wasn’t) and opens the eyes to some of the reasons behind the unrest in the Middle East, particularly the Armenians and the Turks.
To hear a duduk being played, visit www. littymathew.net and click on the tab marked “Chatter”