Two-Part Inventions begins when Suzanne, a concert pianist, dies suddenly of a stroke in the New York City apartment she shares with her producer husband Philip. Rather than mourn in peace, Philip becomes deeply paranoid: their life is based on a fraud and the acclaimed music the couple created is about to be exposed. Philip had built a career for his wife by altering her recordings, taking a portion of a song here and there, from recordings of other pianists. Syncing the alterations seamlessly, he created a piece of flawless music with Suzanne getting sole credit.
The arithmetic of marriage is never easy to understand—as time passes, the variables constantly changeCaroline is set adrift in 1950s Rome when she meets Ivan. Though things start slowly, Ivan wins her over after a strong pursuit, and the two marry, agreeing never to inflict any “irreparable wounds.” But though Ivan…
In this urban, psychological novel, author Lynne Sharon Schwartz brilliantly guides the reader through a flawed marriage and calculated career. Beginning with Suzanne’s death and moving backwards in time, Schwartz examines their life together, and her remarkable career, while contemplating the nature of truth, marriage and the pursuit of perfection.
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