Enchanting the Swan
Kirkus Review: “A lively composition…” “In Schwartz’s (Some Women I Know, 2014 etc.) novel, a passion for music brings together a young couple, though they discover that the path to true love can hit quite a few dissonant notes. Paul Cramer, a classical pianist and MBA student, and Fiona de Maconville, a Belgian cellist studying law, fall for each other as they play duets at Virginia’s William & Mary College. Cramer hopes that the piece that brings them together, “The Swan” by Camille Saint-Saens, won’t be, well, the swan song of the relationship. Attempts to keep the fire stoked are dampened when Fiona’s godparents abruptly summon her back to her native Belgium. With oblique references to the wishes of Fiona’s dead parents, the guardians also smother any hopes Paul and Fiona might harbor of getting together. Paul is just a commoner, not nobility, he is reminded. His Americanness further compounds things; after all, Fiona is only meant to marry another Belgian. Despite these discouraging developments, Paul lands a banker’s job in Europe, which allows him to chase his love, all while encountering a host of interesting characters along the way…The various moneyed people, their elaborately appointed living quarters and their high-wheeling lifestyle add a dash of pizzazz…” But at work, Paul gets entangled in a dramatic banking fraud. He is forced to return to the USA, where he finds Fiona physically and psychologically abused and on the verge of utter despair. Paul endeavors to restore their love but faces harrowing obstacles. Will they ever play The Swan again?