Advertise
Free Compliments of our Advertisers
Sonoma County Gazette
Deadlines
Subscribe
Menu
The author, Dianne Romain, actually lives in the small town in the Mexican highlands called Guanajuato so the reader is given a certain authentic flavor for the novel's setting. Images: dianneromain.com/the-trumpet-lesson
The author, Dianne Romain, actually lives in the small town in the Mexican highlands called Guanajuato so the reader is given a certain authentic flavor for the novel's setting. Images: dianneromain.com/the-trumpet-lesson

Book Review
The Trumpet Lesson by Dianne Romaine 

Dec 20, 2019
by Diane McCurdy, Film and Book Reviews

Share:

The Trumpet Lesson intertwines the activities of a lost dog, an eccentric friend, a bi-racial trumpet player, a street kid and the Jehovah's Witnesses. All the action is perceived by a chipped statue of a jaguar who often passes judgment on the proceedings.


Plaza Mexiamora, where Callie tells Armando a darkly comic cautionary tale. Image: dianneromain.com/the-trumpet-lessonCallie Quinn is a translator of Spanish and French and has abandoned her Chicago roots and slipped away to a small colonial town in the Mexican highlands called Guanajuato. The area is known for its stunning geography and its love of international art, music and literature. The author, Dianne Romain, actually lives there so the reader is given a certain authentic flavor for the novel's setting. Callie is obviously a tortured and guarded soul. Her best friend is Armando who is gay but struggling with his orientation. To call him eccentric is a euphemism, he is terminally bizarre but delightful. When Callie hears a trumpet player, Pamela, blowing out a poignant rendition of "The Lost Child" on her horn in the town square, she decides she must have a trumpet lesson from her. Her stern, controlling father had played the trumpet and she had purchased one recently from Juanito the scamp who periodically sells her damaged goods. This inflames Armando because he believes that Pamela has stolen his dog, Tevele'. To further his dislike of Pamela he feels that she has besmirched the integrity of the maestro of the orchestra that they are both members of. The Jehovah's Witnesses thicken up the plot nicely and before the last page Callie's newly affianced mother arrives on the scene as does Pamela's mother and Callie is rescued from an avocado tree by the Witnesses themselves. Although some of the situations may sound comical and indeed they are, the novel can also be serious and intense and deal with issues surrounding family, adoption, racism, homosexuality and the mystery of all encompassing love. 


Although the author is from the mid-west, she has a degree in philosophy from Berkeley and was a professor at Sonoma State University where she taught feminist ethics and the philosophy of emotion. Her many Mexican students motivated her to delve into the history and art of that country and to experience the whole Mexican mystique. She was enchanted. As one would expect Romain's style of writing is elevated and peppered with foreign phrases. Some situations that are presented are perplexing however, they are usually resolved several chapters later or maybe they are not resolved at all. There is a dash of magical realism here and there, a style that can only be properly implemented on Latin American soil. Consider that plaster jaguar who seems to be not only omniscient but discriminating and checks out all the protagonist's deeds in this thoroughly engrossing novel. 

 

Comments:


Login to Make a Comment

Please support our sponsors:

City Ventures New Homes in Santa Rosa

CLICK on this ad to LEARN about NEW HOMES in TWO Communities in Santa Rosa, Sonoma County

Fine Tree Care - Sonoma County Tree Services

Visit Fine Tree Care WEBSITE for a List of our SERVICES - Testimonials and to request a FREE Estimate

LOCAL GUIDE to Cannabis Dispensaries and Delivery Services, Sonoma County & Beyond.

LOCAL GUIDE to Cannabis Dispensaries and Delivery Services, Sonoma County & Beyond.All dispensaries have verified their information.

Flip the pages of the 2019 Sonoma County gardeners Resource GUide - LIVE Links to local businessses

Your GUIDE to support locally-owned garden businesses and natural landscaping practices.

2019 Small Shops of Sonoma County

Your GUIDE to Locally-owned businesses to support Sonoma County's economy this Holiday Season

Sonoma County Bicycle Shops and Groups

Sonoma County Bike Shops and Groups. Find LOCALLY-OWNED Bicycle Shops for NEW, Used and Rental Bicycles as well as REPAIR. Look for a bike-riding group that suits your needs and style.

Locally-Owned Jewelry Businesses in Sonoma County

Find Goldsmiths and Jewelers who create custom designs, offer jewelry repair, estate appraisals, and gems.

Bookstores of Sonoma County - LOCAL GUIDE

Find a LOCALLY-OWNED Bookstore near you - CLICK HERE

Flower Shops and Florists of Sonoma County

Please support locally-owned businesses and tell them the Gazette sent you - THANK YOU!