Sweet, Soft, Plenty Rhythm by Laura Warrell
An ensemble-cast novel about the perennial temptations of dangerous love, following a jazz musician and the multiple women -- some charmed by him, others scorned -- who find the power of their own voices in this thrilling debut.
It's 2013 and Circus Palmer, a forty-year-old Boston-based trumpet player and old-school ladies man, lives for his music and refuses to be tied down. Before a gig in Miami, he learns that the woman who is secretly closest to his heart, the free-spirited drummer Maggie, is pregnant by him. He flees instead of facing the necessary conversation, setting off a chain of interlocking revelations from the various women in his life. Most notable among them is his teenage daughter Koko, who idolizes him; she's awakening to her own sexuality even as her mentally fragile mother struggles to overcome her long failed marriage and rejection by Circus.
Delivering a lush orchestration of diverse female voices, Warrell spins a provocative, soulful and gripping story of passion and risk, fathers and daughters, wives and single women and, finally, hope and reconciliation, in answer to the age-old question: How do we find belonging when love is unrequited?