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Tallis' Third Tune by Ellen L. Ekstrom

Tallis' Third Tune (2011)

by Ellen L. Ekstrom

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226476,730 (4.07)1 / 38



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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
This isn't the sort of thing I normally read, and I read it under the slight misapprehension that it was going to be an historical novel — as it turns out, it belongs to the "personal redemption through budget time travel" genre popularised by It's a wonderful life, A Christmas Carol, and more recently Being Erica. It has its weaknesses, but all the same it did draw me in, and I finished it with some enjoyment and the sort of nice warm glow that the author obviously intended. I imagine that the real challenge within this convention is making the business of revisiting scenes from your past life emotionally convincing. Give the character too little awareness that they have come from elsewhere in time and it would turn into mere recollection; too much and it becomes a sort of tourism. That's something that seems to work very well here: it wasn't difficult to build up some sympathy for Alice's problems.

The story rushes along with a rather hectic Through the looking-glass illogicality, but it's basically a good old-fashioned romance. Maybe it's made a little too obvious to the reader which of the men is going to turn out to be Mr Wickham and which will be Mr Darcy, but our heroine has to work it out for herself, of course, and we engage with her difficulties as she does so. The writing is fairly fluent, although Alice as narrator sounds a little too naïve to be really convincing as an academic historian. As a result, the various "high-culture" references in the text feel a touch too much like name-dropping, although there is little you can really put your finger on that is wrong until the story gets to the big scenes in York and Scarborough. Then, if like me you happen to know North Yorkshire rather well, you do spot a few rather glaring holes. But that probably doesn't matter for most readers. ( )
1 vote thorold | Dec 4, 2012 |
This novel pulled me in immediately. The characters are engaging and realistic in a way that you instantly love some and hate others. Ekstrom paints a picture for you of the various locations in a very elegant way. I especially love the Curiosity Shop descriptions and the descriptions of Scarborough. When I wasn't reading the book I found myself wondering what would happen to Alice and Quinn and hoping that it would turn out well for the both of them. The book takes you through Alice's life as she relives moments of it. All the pieces are tied nicely together by the character of the Proprietress, and it helps clarify what is going on. Ekstrom involves a variety of characters and each lends something informative to the story line. I found myself engrossed in the story, and I could feel Alice's emotions ranging from sadness, anger and elation. All of these elements are tied very nicely together because of the strong narrative writing and supporting dialogue. I recommend this novel for someone who wants to be wrapped up in a novel that really makes them think and feel. ( )
1 vote CGiovanni | May 27, 2012 |
This book pulls on your heartstrings. It is about Alice Martin, a historian, who gets the chance to re-do parts of her life. I was a little confused in the beginning with all the jumping around to different parts of Alice's life but the more I read the book the more I was able to understand it. I grew to love just how beautifully Ellen Ekstrom wove the different parts of the story together. I also loved how Alice had different historical figures helping her along the way. I loved seeing how Ekstrom portrayed those figures in her book. If you want to read a beautiful book that will leave you emotional than this is the book for you. ( )
  dpappas | May 24, 2012 |
This is a dreamlike and lyrical tale as befits the title and the wonderful piece of music that is Vaughan-Williams Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. Alice finds herself in a strange place where historical characters interact with her as she revisits certain moments of her life, mainly two of her past relationships. The figures from history hint and suggest as she relives the past and slowly things don't go quite as Alice remembers. Can her life be changed by this experience?

There is a disjointed aspect to this novel as Alice drops into random moments of her life, interspersed with time in the quaint English shop. The episodic nature of her experiences means that the reader is left putting together the pieces but I really enjoyed the puzzle that is Tallis' Third Tune. ( )
2 vote calm | Mar 26, 2012 |
Do we have second chances?
Is there ever a time when we can go back and fix our life?
A time when we can choose happiness? That is the question this
book asks.

Alice Rose Martin had quite a life. We are given the
opportunity to view it as she herself would in her memory, or
a life review. She suffered great loss and perhaps she had
also made choices that stood in the way of great joy. Or did

This is a journey through life, history and perhaps
death itself. It makes me wonder how life would be
if we all had the opportunity to tweak and review. It
begs the question, what would you change?

Good read. ( )
6 vote mckait | Mar 24, 2012 |
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For the Quinns and Alices across time, especially those we've had the pleasure to have known.
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My story began much in the same way as any other, say, for example, David Copperfield.
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Alice Martin discovers herself in a quaint English shop. Iconic historical figures appear no sooner than she thinks of them; they come and go, offering advice – unwanted, but always interesting. While there, Alice learns that she can change definitive moments in her history, to correct mistakes made in two important relationships: with her first love, Quinn Radcliffe, a sensitive classical musician destined for the concert halls of the world, and with Donovan Trist, a charming archeologist with New England blue-blood and expensive scotch in his veins. Each has a hold on Alice, and what she is compelled to undertake begins a momentous and sometimes painful journey. Throughout her travels, Alice is linked to love by a melody, the luminous and evocative Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis. As she seeks answers and happiness, Alice knows one thing is for certain – this is not a trip to Wonderland, but deep into her heart and soul.
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Ellen L. Ekstrom chatted with LibraryThing members from Apr 2, 2012 to Apr 6, 2012. Read the chat.

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