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Vol 2-1
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Three-Part Invention
a novel by Judith Laura

I have just finished Judith Laura's newly published novel, Three Part Invention. It is a good story; I enjoyed reading it. It is the story of three generations of women and how their lives influence one another down through the generations.

The part written about the first woman, Alice, included many of the things that set it clearly in the 40s and 50s and reminded me of a life that is no longer lived -- one that I am old enough to know about (the ice man doing deliveries, the milk man coming, being knocked unconscious for childbirth).

The second part of the story is about Alice's daughter Beth and is a story of rebellion against the old ways, a story of the 60s and 70s and the effects that time had on a college-educated woman.

Beth's daughter, Alexis, is a child of the 80s and 90s and has picked up her grandmother's skill and passion for the piano. The title refers to Bach's Three Part Invention. Music and art tie all three women together.

This book is well written, though it would have benefited from the input of a proofreader and an editor. Here's a synopsis from the back of the book:

Alice, daughter of Eastern-European Jewish immigrants to the U.S., marries just before World War II and mixes parenting with piano-teaching. Alice's daughter, Beth, rebels against her mother's music and religion, develops her art talents and takes part in the protest movement of the 1960s and 70s. Beth's daughter, Alexis, overcomes learning disabilities in a way that is healing for both herself and her mother. Their distinct voices paint an unforgettable picture of how different women approach love, sex, career, friendship -- and each other.
Judith Laura is the author of two previous books. Her poetry and fiction have arreared in numerous journals and anthologies. This is her first novel. She grew up in Ewing, NJ, graduated from Ohio University, now lives near Washington, DC, and has a website at
An excerpt: When I play keyboards in rock-jazz fusion bands I go by the name Wind. Ben gave me that name. I could have made it fancier by using another word with Wind, like Windstorm, or Soft Wind, or Wild Wind. But I wanted to be just Wind - that could sometimes blow one way, sometimes another.

When I perform classical piano I go by the name my parents gave me, after both my grandmothers. I like being connected to my grandmothers that way. I feel especially close to my mother's mother, who was a pianist. I never met her. But I know a lot about her. I suppose some of it's from what my mother told me. But I don't think she told me all I seen to know.

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