Playing with Passion: A Novel
by Katrina Reinhardt

"'Passion. Romance. That’s why I got into trouble. But you’ll agree that I may lead the way in our friendship?'"

This tender story centers on a regretful woman who leaves behind a secretive past in Paris for new beginnings in the city of Boston. After an illicit affair with her professor, Jacques D’Argenes, twenty-three-year-old Yvette leaves their daughter at a convent for adoption. She desperately sheds her past by immersing herself fully into the Boston arts community. As she yearns for the “magic and poetry” of music, she strives to marry music with art for ultimate inspiration.

She receives an offer to study music with the renowned and brilliant Abe Lipinksy in a “cat and mouse” relationship eerily reminiscent of her former relationship with Jacques. She also meets and reluctantly falls in love with the darkly handsome Russian cellist, Kolya. But a doubtful Yvette is uncertain of this blossoming relationship, questioning if it is born of love or lust. She explores in surprising ways with other acquaintances, conversing and sharing a passion for music (and art) that permeates every aspect of their lives, and it is here where Reinhardt’s novel shines. As Yvette traverses these complicated relationships she is hopeful for her future. Then everything changes when unexpected news arrives from Paris.

Reinhardt’s novel is about choices and our connections in this world. Much of the novel traces Yvette’s emerging sexuality and her romantic exploits that are tinged with subtle reminders of her guilt and loss. The author paints her main character as equal parts vulnerable and strong, a woman torn by her youthful past while determined to embrace adulthood in meaningful ways. She explores the nuances of her characters with a clear reverence for the arts along with hints of political, social, and cultural commentary. Reinhardt fuses together an appealing drama and love story where love can unite or divide, and the soul can experience the healing power of music.

Return to USR Home