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Claire Kilroy
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3.64  ·  Rating Details ·  248 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
"Tenderwire tells the story of a reckless young musician's obsession with what she suspects may be a hitherto undiscovered violin created by one of the old Italian masters." Eva Tyne leaves her native Ireland to pursue a career as a classical violinist in New York. After her solo debut, she collapses and is rushed to the hospital. Still vulnerable after the shock, she meet ...more
269 pages
Published (first published January 1st 2006)
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Mar 23, 2007 Meghan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I did not put this book down once I started reading. I picked it up the week it was launched and tried to wait patiently for myself to finish reading Ulysses. You might not be surprised to discover that I let Kilroy interrupt Joyce. It's not that I don't like reading Ulysses (and its annotations)--I do, immensely--it's just that I was on holiday and I've finished my degree and...I don't need to try so hard to explain this, do I? At any rate, one can feel the tension in this book the way one can ...more
Lucy Crowe
Nov 26, 2015 Lucy Crowe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is much to be said about the plot of "Tenderwire" - classical violinist Eva Tyne cashes in her savings in order to purchase a rare violin of dubious origin. Falls in love (sort of) with a man who is also somewhat dubious, stays in love with a man who is seeing her best friend, and pursues her career while evading those who would repossess her violin. All of which is told in such a way that the result is a sharp, lyrical, and actually very suspenseful narrative.The story reveals itself in s ...more
Jul 19, 2009 Christin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love bookshopping in Ireland. I never fail to lay my hands on an intriguing title and Tenderwire is a particular triumph as it was on the sale table and cost me 3.99 EU. The novel is the story of traumatized violinist Eva Tyne and her misadventures in NYC while on a quest for a rare del Ghisu violin that she names Magdalena. What I admire most about Kilroy's writing is its subtlety, when writing "thrillers" I often find that many writers overplay and swerve too rapidly to give the plot oomph ...more
Feb 19, 2008 Jill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maybe it's just that I've been ready to read something wacky and different. I love an unreliable narrator, and this one is completely unreliable. She's making irrational decisions, and the reader doesn't get the reasons until other characters do. As a reader, one has to be sharp to catch what's happening when it happens, although explanation will turn up. I had to read the end three times (once on page 20, once when I finished, and once again because I didn't get it... no lie). That was a good t ...more
Oct 31, 2007 Blaire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I found the main character in this book to be maddening in her unreliability and impulsiveness, but have to admit that without her faults there would be no story. And it is a good story. The action is well-paced, and there was at least one plot twist that I didn't see coming. Unfortunately I did see the last plot twist coming a mile away. Still, the dramatic tension built over the course of the story until at the end I pretty much couldn't put it down.
Aug 04, 2009 Marvin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a hard book to assess. The main character, a young professional violinist, was self-centered & constantly made really bad choices. And the story is that she becomes obsessed with & buys a violin of dubious provenance. It doesn't sound like much of a story, it's not really believable, & she doesn't seem to be a character one would care much about, but somehow it was a real page-turner, one that I wanted to keep reading to see what would happen next.
Aug 07, 2012 Mandy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 3rd book I've read recently by Claire Kilroy and the one that has impressed me the most. I found it totally absorbing - and nearly gave it 5*, something I don't do very often! Part psychological study and part thriller, I found it kept me guessing to the very end, and she dealt with all the suspense expertly. I really recommend this one, most definitely a "good read".
Mar 17, 2011 Beth rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A young Irish woman, Eva, has left Ireland to pursue a career as a classic violinist in New York. (And we can’t forget her cat, Ming, apparently a New York cat, not an Irish one, who figures prominently in Eva’s life and appears on most pages of the book.)

The story begins with Eva’s getting sick. She goes to a hospital and leaves it. We aren’t told what occurred in between the going and the leaving or even what the sickness was all about.

For the next 60 pages or so, Eva is a character I could no
Feb 05, 2012 Amy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, mystery
I could not put this book down. I read it in two days. It follows the story of Eva Tyne who is a concert violin soloist who has just made her debut in NYC. Originally from Ireland, she is making her way as a violinist in the States. After a crazy rush to the hospital on the night of her debut, she meets a man in a bar who changes the course of her life. She later meets a man from Russia who finds out that she is a violinist and he offers her a rare deal on a violin that might just be a Stadivari ...more
The cover of this is misleading; too much a generic thriller and it is only when well into it - and already seduced - that its relevance becomes known. Because this is not at all a generic thriller, no murders and no threat to life. but full of tensions of a different sort, within a world I know little of but which is sufficiently well-evoked for me to fully understand and enjoy it, and to appreciate its gentle, inevitable progress to the excellent end. Certainly I'll look out for more of Claire ...more
Jef Goelz
Aug 24, 2013 Jef Goelz rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an extraordinarily well-written book. I loved it. and I hated it for two severe plotting problems. First, the narrator never discloses the result of an emergency hospital visit until 70% of the way into the book, although she was in the hospital near the beginning of the book. It's not a trivial thing, so why wouldn't the character think about it? Near the end of the book, she again withholds information from the reader, although the narrator knew it all along. If this wasn't written in ...more
Sep 24, 2016 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I Really enjoyed this, though it was a tense read. Eva, our protagonist, was very frustrating but always compelling, and I found myself rooting for her throughout, despite her self destructive behaviour. Tenderwire almost reminded me of the film Black Swan, both stories are about a vulnerable woman involved in the arts, but while Black Swan deals with stress over a show, Tenderwire deals with an obsession with an instrument. Beautifully written and hard to put down. I would absolutely recommend ...more
Kate Canan Rizzo
Jul 26, 2011 Kate Canan Rizzo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Raw and intriguing, Kilroy's second novel is an unusual one quite unlike many traditional mysteries. She winds perplexities with hints of naivete and innocence, making for a very interesting read.

While being advertised as a mystery thriller, I disagree, and viewed it more as a mysterious drama. Kilroy's characters spring off the page and her prose is excellent. It is truly amazing what she can do with an Irish girl, a missing father, a chance encounter with a strange man to acquire an invaluable
Apr 27, 2016 Vavita rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't put this book down! I don't remember anymore when or where I bought this book but I am so happy I did.
Main character is completely unlikable. I felt sorry for her; I was angry at her; I didn't understand her behavior. So much happens to her that is messy. Unfortunately, as she is the narrator, you can not really discern what is real and what is a creation of her mind and insecurities.
And the end... I jumped and clapped my hands.
Ellen Marchessault
There's no other book quite like this, at least that I have read. I wasn't overly fond of Eva, the main character. I did persevere to finish it, though. Do people really live lives like this? The plot jumps around in time occasionally, and it usually caught me by surprise when it did. I'm not sure if I would recommend it to anyone else. The main reason I picked it up was because of the music connection.
Aug 30, 2010 Nancy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tight little page turning who-done-it. (Thanks Mike!) Irish violinist, Eva Tyne comes to NY to set the world afire with her skills. As she reaches new highs of fame, events find her newly adrift in the sea of love and encountering dark and unseemly characters, thus changing the course of her life. Intrigue-lite kept me turning the pages enjoying the characters (and wanting more "flesh" to some of them). Won't give anything away, but recommend this as a solid page-turner.
Aug 14, 2009 Sally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read. Ha! Need to have the sound track for The Red Violin in the background as you read. Sex and the city violin prodigy in Manhattan underworld in search of an old and coveted violin. Concerned that the book ended with a very loose end - a maniacal Russian giant still out to get her at the end. Would ruin my sleep.
Molly Ferguson
Nov 03, 2013 Molly Ferguson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The twists and turns in this book are dizzying! I enjoyed getting wrapped up in the paranoia of the story, even though I didn't like the main character as a human being. I have no idea how I'm going to teach this, though, since I assigned it for British and Irish women writers. I did stare for a loooong time at the violin player today in church.
Jun 01, 2013 Shonda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kilroy writes well but the story was jumpy and I would have enjoyed a more level read. She writes deeply about love and coming into it, as well as the absence of her father, and these were the parts I fell in love with. I will read more by her. Very emotional writing and she is in tune with these parts.

Nov 18, 2010 Jenna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is a little off beat. As a former violin player I found it a good read. The plot gives many interesting twists that make this one a page turner. Think I may re-read this one sometime to make sure I have all the pieces of the puzzle in the correct places.
Jul 23, 2010 Susan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The One Where the professional violinist buys a Stradavarius... or does she? She experiences love, loss and acclaim. The ending ties up the nagging questions I raised while reading, once she goes home to Dublin.
Mary Lou
Jul 17, 2012 Mary Lou rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: irish-crime
A Quirky pacey funny thriller with a background of classical music. The protaganist even has a cat!
V enjoyable
Mary LaMarre
Jun 09, 2015 Mary LaMarre rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I did not like this book. I felt the author wanted the reader to believe all of the chance encounters, etc
Caitlin Griffin
Jul 08, 2013 Caitlin Griffin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The blurb says "brilliant", I say "damn right!" I on such a great streak of incredible fiction right now. And this book created a new genre: musical suspense! I loved it!
Dana Sullivan
Dana Sullivan rated it really liked it
Jun 09, 2014
Liz Quirke
Liz Quirke rated it it was amazing
Sep 12, 2014
Fennella rated it liked it
Dec 21, 2014
Althea rated it liked it
Feb 02, 2012
Droydicus Malojan
Droydicus Malojan rated it did not like it
Feb 19, 2015
Natasha rated it it was amazing
Jul 06, 2010
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Claire Kilroy was born in 1973 in Dublin, Ireland and was educated at Trinity College. In 2002 she received an Arts Council Literature Award. Her first novel, ALL SUMMER (Faber, 2003), was the recipient of the 2004 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and was short-listed for the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award and her most recent novel, TENDERWIRE (Faber, 2006), was shortlisted for the Hughes & ...more
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“He could be anywhere by now, so that is where I look for him. Anywhere...
There are times when I don't recognize this woman who plays with such self-possession. She is something that I have faked. She is William Tyne's daughter, I supposed; his idea of her. I put her forward when I am performing so that he will approach me. I strive to make her taller than she is, more graceful, less unsure. I don't think other people have to try so hard in their lives. Or do they? Are we all living like this? So close to this mesh of nerves?
So I played for my father another concerto, though he was never one for sitting still in a chair. He would make an exception for me, though, his firstborn. He would see the progress I have made.”
“The fire illuminated the water lights in his eyes. I had to step back sometimes to marvel at how blessed I was. This beautiful young man sitting by the hearth, waiting for me to join him. When I looked at him looking at me, it felt like we were bouncing light off each other.
I was scared that I wasn't up to it, that I'd spill the light on the floor.. The best times were on the stairs in Daniel's apartment building. It was easiest when I wasn't actually in his apartment, but contemplating it from close by. Our love was most manageable when there was no immediate risk that I would wreck it. Often I was overwhelmed by what was happening between us. It made me almost nauseous, as if I'd eaten too much sugar, or was gambling with sums of money I didn't have. I recognized the same symptom in Ming. She couldn't control her excitement at my return if I'd been out all day, so she'd have to hide in a bag until it was safe to come out. Then she'd panic and ricochet all over the place, skidding into walls, banging her head against furniture. It was just too much for her, the onslaught of joy coupled with the threat of its imminent demise. I knew exactly how that felt.”
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