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A Genius in the Family: An Intimate Memoir of Jacqueline du Pre: An Intimate Memoir of Jacqueline Du Pre
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A Genius in the Family: An Intimate Memoir of Jacqueline du Pre: An Intimate Memoir of Jacqueline Du Pre

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  328 Ratings  ·  34 Reviews
The life of Jacqueline du Pré is an enticing subject for biography. Child prodigy turned superstar cellist, du Pré came from a highly musical family, studied with the greatest musicians in the world, married the pianist Daniel Barenboim during Israel's Six Day War in 1967--and was struck down by multiple sclerosis in 1973, at the age of 28. From then on her deterioration w ...more
Paperback, 441 pages
Published January 21st 1999 by Ebury Press (first published 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 598)
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Sep 24, 2015 Caroline rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 30, 2010 A.U.C. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2010
Even though I think that everybody can enjoy this book, I especially recommend it to musicians, such as myself. This is mostly because you will understand the music passages, and because you will find a special delight and understanding in the love that the protagonist had for her instrument that not even music-lovers would understand. Even though I play the trumpet and the guitar, it still is a little hard to understand.

That is probably what I enjoyed the most about Hilary and Jackie. The music
A couple years ago, I stumbled upon a black-and-white video of Jacqueline du Pre playing Elgar's Cello Concerto and I couldn't get enough. It brought tears to my eyes, the emotion in the music was so real. This is the story of Jacqueline du Pre told by her older sister Hilary (a piano and flute player) and little brother Piers (a pilot).

I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the childhood and how Jacqueline got her first cello and what she played and how she played. I was interested in how her sist
i borrowed this book from my dad for my flight home. i grew up with jacqueline du pre playing the elgar cello concerto on our stereo but didn't know anything about her rather tragic life. i was also intrigued that my father, who normally reads extremely dry nonfiction about mozart, rare birds, or sailing vessels would pick up something that looked so steamy.

the best word i can come up with to summarize "hilary and jackie" is bizarre. originally titled "a genius in the family," it documents the
Jul 06, 2012 Janna rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography-memoir
I have given three stars because I love Jackie and couldn't put the book down, but so much of this seems odd to me. I hear a venom in her sister's writing that makes me think of trouble I had with my own sister. I wonder what Jackie would have to say? I have doubts about the validity of the story and the spirit in which it was written.
Jul 18, 2008 Rebecca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My idol. A sister's misguided attempt to malign genius.
Gotta love that Elgar cello concerto - basically a love song to a vanished world.
Dan Smith
Nov 22, 2008 Dan Smith rated it it was amazing
I found this book truly fascinating. I was a huge fan of the film Hilary and Jackie and I shared it with both my mom and my eldest sister (both musicians) and they both loved it (my sister usually doesn't like films I recommend to her). I tried to find the book that inspired it at the local library and was VERY disappointed to find that the city of Salt Lake does not consider it a worthy member of their collection. My sister ended up buying the paperback edition off of Alibris and we all ended u ...more
Jun 05, 2012 Edith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Jacqueline du Pre- born in 1945, English, cello prodigy and genius, professional debut at age 16, played for Pablo Casals, studied in Russia with Rostropovich, married to world-renowned pianist Daniel Barenboim, playing at her peak in her early 20’s and performing in the highest venues the world over, muscular sclerosis diagnosed at age 28, in a wheel chair 18 months later, and dead at age 42.

First, I read this book and then watched the movie. HATED the movie. Do not bother with it- in no way d
Apr 03, 2007 Anna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of Jacqueline Du Pre, scandalmakers, sob artists
Wow. This is definitely an intimate biography. Hilary and Piers Du Pre describe their sister's life as they remember it: a mix of music and personal so detailed that it has been called exploitative and insulting. (I did feel a bit voyeuristic while reading in the airport! But then, I was crying openly by the end, and that was more embarrassing for me.)
This is a biography of Jacqueline Du Pre, the English cellist. Told from her siblings' perspectives, Jackie is a child prodigy who grows up to ear
May 01, 2008 Beth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I saw the movie, Hilary and Jackie, and now have read the book. It was in the bed and breakfast we stayed in when we visited Becca and Luca in Brooklyn and I'd forgotten to bring something to read. Becca found it.

I think the book and movie go together very well. Jackie du Pre, a tremendously talented concert cellist, was married to the conductor Daniel B . . . can't spell his name. Shortly after her career had taken off she got MS and was not able to play. She died in her late 40s. The book is w
Die Geschichte der britischen Star-Cellistin Jacqueline Du Pré, die bereits in jungen Jahren mit ihrem unglaublichen Talent das Publikum verzückte und mit 22 ein ebensolches Musik-Wunderkind - Daniel Barenboim - heiratete, mit dem sie viele Konzerte gab. Bereits im Alter von 28 Jahren wird bei ihr Multiple Sklerose diagnostiziert, woran sie 1987 42jährig stirbt.

Ich hatte von Jaqueline du Pré vorher noch niemals gehört, bin allerdings auch kein Fan und vor allem Kenner der (modernen) klassischen
Hilary and Jackie was the book I read with the name 'A genius in the family' but found out it was both same.

The book is written by the sister of my favorite cellist and amazing talent having Jacqueline du Pre. I really recommend this book. I read it before I saw movie. the movie is excellent. Emily Watson's talent is endless...
Sep 15, 2013 William rated it really liked it
Beyond enjoying the tragic story of this gifted musician, I was captured by the honesty and memory of the authors: her siblings.

I used to travel widely, in the age before smart phones. I always took a handful of photographs to share with those I would meet. Invariably their questions drifted from the people in the foreground of the photos - my wife and children - to the background. "What type of tree is this?" "What is this small building?" "Does everyone have a dog?" "What are you eating?"

In o
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Faith Justice
I finally got to this one and enjoyed it, but probably not as much as my husband who is a cello player. It is a fascinating story of genius and the toll it takes on a family - the original title was A Genius in the Family. I felt the new title - Hilary and Jackie: the true story of two sisters who shared a passion, a madness and a man was designed by marketers who wanted to capitalize on one of the more sensational aspects of the sisters' relationship and didn't really reflect the book written b ...more
Jul 18, 2013 Carly rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's stories like these that seem so unreal that they can't have been non-fiction, but they are. The life of the du Pre family was hilarious at times, sad and tragic at others. So many incredible and crazy things happened to this family. The reason this book doesn't get more than 3 stars is that I found the alternating narrators a bit confusing. I often forgot who was narrating and I also felt that the narration was unevenly spread. Hilary narrated much more that Piers. I also feel that they are ...more
Mar 23, 2008 Korynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
Saw the movie, now read the book! Yes, it's as simple as that. In this case, meet the brother! This is a memoir told from both the sister and brother of Jackie Du Pre the famous cellist. It confirms that all the Du Pre's were amazing individuals in their own rights, and how all of the family sacrificed to help support Jackie. Her sister reveals a real shocker, that her husband slept with Jackie with her knowledge, which is pretty rife with family turmoil. Her brother paints a portrait of a woman ...more
Dec 26, 2009 Amy rated it liked it
I took about 6 months to read this and I'm glad. I only read a little at a time... I think if I tried to sit down and just read it through I would have gotten very bored, but in little snippets it was doable. This is the story of Jacqueline du Pre, a cellist who would have been world-renowned had she not died from complications of MS. She was married to Daniel Barenboim, now a famous conductor, and she was a little crazy. The book is written by her brother and sister and has some controversial i ...more
Lisa Borges
Feb 11, 2014 Lisa Borges rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Touching story about having a family genius and how it's very difficult.
Mar 30, 2010 Karissa rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography
The writing was fine and easy to read. It was written about the life of two sisters, written by one of the sisters and their brother. The story was so-so. I am not sure if it would be better if I liked reading about musicians and the cello? basically it was a weird story and a weird family. Jackie is selfish and Hilary is very odd. You don't like them both in the end. The brother seems the most normal. Very little about MS but the last chapters.
Oct 06, 2009 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a true story (my favorite kind) that will leave you feeling uncomfortable at best. Most people would probably be better off seeing the movie and skipping the book. It's a good story, but I don't think most people can relate to a woman loaning her husband sexually to her sister because the sister is a genius and needs to have sex with her sister's husband...?
Michelle Bouchor
May 24, 2008 Michelle Bouchor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was pretty good, but a little disturbing too. I guess I just don't understand the music/artist lifestyle. There were certainly very moving parts of the story and how much love and dedication Hilary and Jackie had toward each other. I enjoyed it, but skipped over a lot of the music stuff that I didn't understand.
Jul 15, 2009 Kristopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A wonderful biography of the greatest cellist that lived as told by her brother and sister. Written in a conversational narrative style. Does require some background in the music world, and you will soon be searching for the CDs of the music mentioned, particularly the Elgar Cello Sonatas.
Feb 11, 2008 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone.
This book is a peek into what it is like to be a musician, and you begin to understand the relationship between music and musician. It's a great, fairly fast read, and yes, I cried my eyes out at the end.

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with MS, this is a must-read.
Memorable Quotes
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Feb 26, 2014 Toni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an interesting story. I saw the movie as well, but the book is definitely a good read. Jacqueline duPre is one of my favorite cello players, so to get an insight of her from her real life sister who is the writer of the book is priceless.
Sep 23, 2009 Jean rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
LOVED THIS BOOK! Maybe because it's about musicians! Adds to the movie, which I had seen. I like biographies, and although this is sad, it's still very worthy reading.
Mary Lee
Mar 29, 2010 Mary Lee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Written by brother anad sister of Jackie du Pre, world famous celloist, about her natural talent and her fight with MS. Great loving memories from the family.
Jan 11, 2011 Stargazer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A really good book, but unexpectedly disturbing, Hilary is a bit too self-sacrificing for me, was not prepared for the shocking revelations in here.
Jul 31, 2007 Erica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a wonderful and emotional book about a young brilliant star shot down by a fatal illness, written by her surviving brother and sister.
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