Twelve Bar Blues
The raucous novel that won the prestigious Whitbread Novel Award, Twelve Bar Blues is a virtuoso epic tale of fate and family, jazz and juju that spans three continents and two centuries to tell a story of enduring roots and indelible love. At its heart is Lick Holden, a talented but tormented young musician who sets the jazz scene of early-twentieth-century New Orleans on fire with the passionate tones of his coronet. But Lick's true passion is for his beautiful lost stepsister Sylvie, for whom he searches for among the streets, music halls, and bordellos of the South. Their story reverberates through the decades into the life of Sylvia Di Napoli, a black English former prostitute turned singer who travels from London to New York and Chicago in 1999 in search of the answer to the mystery of her family's roots. Funny and poignant, Twelve Bar Blues is a dynamic novel with all the emotional energy and breakneck tempo of a red-hot Big Easy jazz band that will hook you -- like a favorite tune -- until the very last page.