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Mountain Solo

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  157 ratings  ·  22 reviews
Sixteen-year-old Tess's life has been shaped by her violin.
From the moment she picked up the instrument, it's been clear she isn't like other kids. She is a prodigy, and her life is that of a virtuoso-to-be: constant training, special schools, and a big debut before an audience of thousands. But when she blows her moment in the spotlight, she throws it all away, moves awa
Hardcover, 309 pages
Published September 1st 2003 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt P
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Average rating 3.69  · 
Rating details
 ·  157 ratings  ·  22 reviews

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May 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
I had seen this book at the library so many times, but put off reading it because it could have been so terrible. I am so glad I finally read it!
The main story is carefully woven together with two other stories - that of the fiddle-playing settler who our heroine is helping research and that of our heroine's younger self - which taken as a whole fills in how Tess got to this point of her life and makes the main story so much more complete.
I thought the characters were well portrayed: the ov
Jan 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This was one of my favorite books! Until I let my friend borrow it on her vacation...

Now it's somewhere in the Czech Republic.
John Clark
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent example of a story that is immune to ageing. The mix of contemporary where Tess is trying to heal from her wounded soul, and historical, where Frederik and his family are struggling with the unfairness of frontier life and the harshness of pioneer times, is blended extremely well. I read it quickly and thoroughly enjoyed it.
Yuliana Vega
Aug 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Even though it was assigned for my English lit. class it was a great book. There was somethings in the book that bothered like for example: The mom's attitude towards Tess's career got on my nerves. But yeah it was a pretty good book. 🤷😊
Zac Chase
Aug 28, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, fiction, ya
There's potential here that never gets fully realized. I felt as though permission to write another 100 pages would have given the book a chance to go more deeply into topics and ideas that are touched on too lightly for real emotional impace.
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Finally, a young adult novel that is not dystopian fantasy. I enjoyed this book, and felt that it gave an honest voice about the pressures that gifted young musicians face.
Sep 02, 2008 added it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Katrina J
Jan 09, 2012 rated it it was ok
MUSIC! I recommend this book to Girls who play the Violin. But, If you don't play the violin, you can still read it, but you might not know what the main character is talking about one sixteenth of the time. Okay, so, apparently this book is about a girl, and her violin. She got her first violin when she was really young. So she got good at it. She had lessons every day, and was homeschooled. Her (Tess, the main charecter) parents started fighting because her dad wanted her to be a regular kid. ...more
Libby Ames
Tess’s life has been ruled by her violin. While she loves the music, she suffers from the pressures placed on all child prodigies. After a crushing failure in her first performance as a soloist, Tess retreats from New York to spend the summer with her father in Montana.

Intertwined with Tess’s story, is the story of Frederick. He is a teenaged homesteader trying to make ends meet in turn of the century Montana. Jeanette Ingold skillfully jumps between the stories of these two young people with
Sep 09, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Ingold is good at thoroughly researching her subjects and accumulating enough information about them that she can create realistic characters and write engaging stories about them. I can't say this is one that will stick with me for a long time, but it was very well crafted.

Young adults who have a special kind of talent will probably enjoy this kind of book, although any teen who feels they are different from others (though not too different) will find something they can relate to. I liked the s
Jan 27, 2009 rated it really liked it
For as long as she can remember, Tess has played the violin. After a disastrous solo, Tess leaves her mother in New York and goes to spend some time with her father and his new wife and step daughter. Tess must find her own voice, stand up to her controlling mother, and decide what she really wants in life. The different steps of her decision making process are illustrated by flashbacks to Tess' childhood, and through linkages with a violin player from the past.

This book is an honest account of
Alison Worrell
Jun 05, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya-1-12
Tess is a child prodigy on the violin. She gives up on it after messing up on a solo in a concert. She then discovers the story of another violinist and pioneer from one hundred years before while spending time with her father.

This is a tale of overcoming adversity as a teen. I thought it was interesting, though my attention drifted in some spots. There are a lot of classical music references.

Sep 11, 2009 rated it it was ok
Missoula is a favorite setting, and I have heard Jeanette read and speak a dozen times. I liked the back story, but there was a lack of depth in the present day story that didn't work for me. I didn't feel like she developed any of the characters well enough, and especially didn't care for the lack of development of mom and dad. It was disappointing because character development is usually one of her strengths.
Apr 17, 2012 rated it liked it
Reading all the Ingold books I can before the Young Readers Conference in July! This was the first I've read. I agree with my mother-in-law's description of Ingold's stories: "Very safe." This is the story of a prodigy violinist who spends a summer with her father in Montana. I felt that Ingold did a good job with the main character; the supporting cast was a bit predictable though. A good YA read.
Chelsea Shoemake
Nov 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
This was part of the library when I inherited it, and it came out around 2003.

I was pretty impressed by this book. I read it under the impression that it would be one genre, but it turned out to be a heartwarming tale told in 3 perspectives.

While the main character is indeed a 16-year-old, this book had nothing objectionable to the 2nd and 3rd grade clientele that I serve. In fact, it often flashes back to when Tess was a child and her perspective.

Stephanie A.
It took too long for the 3 parallel stories to make sense instead of just splintering the focus, but by the time we got to the end, I was thoroughly invested and heartbroken by every possible outcome. I would read a sequel, that's how much I want to hear more about her stepfamily and see her hinted-at relationship develop.
Apr 20, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: realistic, teen
Tess is running from the memory of a terrible concert, unsure whether she will ever have the courage to play again. She is home in Montana with her dad, a million miles away from New York, special music schools, and the pressure. Tess must find herself in the search for a lost homestead and the story of the people who live there.
Jun 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya
Jeanette Ingold's book is beautifully written with lyrical language. She captures the realistic feelings of Tess, a child prodigy violinist, who, after blowing her concert debut in Germany, must decide who she is, what she wants from life, and really how important music is to her. It was a fabulous book and I recommend it to everyone.
Aug 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: YA readers
Recommended to Jenny by: BYU Writer's Workshop 2008
I thought this was an excellent YA novel. I enjoyed the writing style and appreciated the fact that it was very clean. It tackled a very real YA issue -- feeling like you aren't in control of your life -- and she approached it in a unique way. I recommend it.
Alice T.
Jul 12, 2007 rated it it was amazing
very good book about music, love and other tough teenage choices
Aug 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Describes very well some of the pressures that come with being musically talented.
rated it it was amazing
Dec 29, 2012
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Nov 20, 2012
Linda Clark
rated it it was ok
Apr 18, 2012
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Oct 27, 2012
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Dec 06, 2014
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Dec 16, 2012
Robert Marney
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Sep 06, 2019
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Jul 07, 2010
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Apr 08, 2012
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I love road trips and museums, mountains and woods, libraries and old houses, mysterious photographs, and people with stories to tell. I’m a Montanan who grew up in New York in a family of Texans. I’ve a husband, two kids, a pair of grandkids, and a dog named Mica. Most of my best friends are other writers, and my days don’t feel right when I don’t begin them by putting words on the page. And tha ...more

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