Every now and then you come across a just-right book. The String Quartet was a just-right book for me. I found it to be the perfect blending of storytelling and characterization, of fantasy and mystery. At its simplest, I suppose, you could say that it was a story about a magical cello rediscovered in a tumbling-down barn. That would be accurate but not do the book full justice.
Dawn Arterberry is the heroine of The String Quartet. She has recently moved with her father to Vermont; the two are still deep in grief: Dawn's mother has recently died. Within a chapter or two, Dawn will leave home once again, she'll be attending a private boarding school on a beautiful but remote island. The good news is that she's already made a good friend in Elliot; the two have had the summer to get to know one another. Elliot is with Dawn on the fateful day she explores the old barn on the family farm. Of course, neither realizes the significance of that cello, the cello belonging to her grandfather.
Dawn adjusts relatively well to life at her new school; she joins the orchestra and becomes part of a string quartet. And that is, in part, where the proper fantasy-adventure begins... for one day in practice... something unexpected happens.
If you enjoy novels where heroes travel from the 'real world' to a fantasy one, then The String Quartet may be just right for you. I enjoyed the world-building. I enjoyed the storytelling. But most of all, I enjoyed the characterization! I liked getting to know Dawn, Elliot, Davis, and Abigail.
© 2013 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews