The addictive debut novel about four young friends navigating the cutthroat world of music and their complex relationships with one another, as ambition, passion, and love intertwine over the course of their lives.
Brit is the second violinist, a beautiful and quiet orphan; on the viola is Henry, a prodigy who's always had it easy; the cellist is Daniel, the oldest, the angry skeptic who sleeps around; and on first violin is Jana, their flinty, resilient leader. Together, they are the Van Ness String Quartet.
In The Ensemble, each person picks up the melody, from the group's youthful rocky start through to adulthood. As they navigate devastating failures and wild success, heartbreak and marriage, triumph and loss, betrayal and enduring loyalty, they are always tied together--by career, by the intensity of their art, by the secrets they carry, and by choosing each other over and over again.
Following these four unforgettable characters, Aja Gabel's debut novel gives a behind-the-scenes look into the competitive, mysterious world of high level musicians. The story of Brit and Henry and Daniel and Jana, The Ensemble is a heart-skipping portrait of ambition, friendship, and the tenderness of youth.
"Aja Gabel's powerful debut offers a sensitive portrait of four young musicians forging their paths through life: sometimes at odds with each other, sometimes in harmony, but always inextricably linked by their shared pasts."
—Celeste Ng, New York Times bestselling author of Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere
"With uncommon clarity and empathy, Aja Gabel brings us inside the passionate, complex, and sometimes cutthroat intimacy that exists among the four members of a string quartet. A wise and powerful novel about love, life, and music. I didn't want it to end."
—Maggie Shipstead, New York Times bestselling author of Seating Arrangements and Astonish Me
"The Ensemble deserves a standing ovation. A gripping tale of four musician's journeys through discord and harmony, life and love. Aja Gabel is a brilliant young writer with the rare gift of an old soul."
—Mat Johnson, author of Pym and Loving Day
For media and publicity inquiries, please contact:
Elizabeth Hohenadel, Riverhead Books