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Songs in Ursa Major: A novel
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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2021
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Description
A transporting love story of music, stardom, heartbreak, and a gifted young singer-songwriter who must find her own voice: “In the vein of Daisy Jones and the Six and The Final Revival of Opal and Nev, [this] is an intoxicating chronicle of the music industry, inspired largely by the love affair between artists Joni Mitchell and James Taylor” (Elle)."

The year is 1969, and the Bayleen Island Folk Fest is abuzz with one name: Jesse Reid. Tall and soft-spoken, with eyes blue as stone-washed denim, Jesse Reid’s intricate guitar riffs and supple baritone are poised to tip from fame to legend with this one headlining performance. That is, until his motorcycle crashes on the way to the show.

Jane Quinn is a Bayleen Island local whose music flows as naturally as her long blond hair. When she and her bandmates are asked to play in Jesse Reid’s place at the festival, it almost doesn’t seem real. But Jane plants her bare feet on the Main Stage and delivers the performance of a lifetime, stopping Jesse’s disappointed fans in their tracks: A star is born.
 
Jesse stays on the island to recover from his near-fatal accident and he strikes up a friendship with Jane, coaching her through the production of her first record. As Jane contends with the music industry’s sexism, Jesse becomes her advocate, and what starts as a shared calling soon becomes a passionate love affair. On tour with Jesse, Jane is so captivated by the giant stadiums, the late nights, the wild parties, and the media attention, that she is blind-sided when she stumbles on the dark secret beneath Jesse’s music. With nowhere to turn, Jane must reckon with the shadows of her own past; what follows is the birth of one of most iconic albums of all time.  
 
Shot through with the lyrics, the icons, the lore, the adrenaline of the early 70s music scene, Songs in Ursa Major pulses with romantic longing and asks the question so many female artists must face: What are we willing to sacrifice for our dreams?
 
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
06/22/2021
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780593318638
ASIN:
B08JKPXWND
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Emma Brodie. (2021). Songs in Ursa Major: A novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Emma Brodie. 2021. Songs in Ursa Major: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Emma Brodie, Songs in Ursa Major: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2021.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Emma Brodie. Songs in Ursa Major: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2021. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Date Added:
Jun 21, 2021 08:12:12
Date Updated:
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      • bioText: EMMA BRODIE has worked in book publishing for a decade, most recently as an executive editor at Little, Brown's Voracious imprint. She graduated from the Johns Hopkins University's Writing Seminars program, and is a longtime contributor to HuffPost and a faculty member at Catapult. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and their dog, Freddie Mercury.
         
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      • name: Emma Brodie
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title
Songs in Ursa Major
fullDescription
A transporting love story of music, stardom, heartbreak, and a gifted young singer-songwriter who must find her own voice: “In the vein of Daisy Jones and the Six and The Final Revival of Opal and Nev, [this] is an intoxicating chronicle of the music industry, inspired largely by the love affair between artists Joni Mitchell and James Taylor” (Elle)."

The year is 1969, and the Bayleen Island Folk Fest is abuzz with one name: Jesse Reid. Tall and soft-spoken, with eyes blue as stone-washed denim, Jesse Reid’s intricate guitar riffs and supple baritone are poised to tip from fame to legend with this one headlining performance. That is, until his motorcycle crashes on the way to the show.

Jane Quinn is a Bayleen Island local whose music flows as naturally as her long blond hair. When she and her bandmates are asked to play in Jesse Reid’s place at the festival, it almost doesn’t seem real. But Jane plants her bare feet on the Main Stage and delivers the performance of a lifetime, stopping Jesse’s disappointed fans in their tracks: A star is born.
 
Jesse stays on the island to recover from his near-fatal accident and he strikes up a friendship with Jane, coaching her through the production of her first record. As Jane contends with the music industry’s sexism, Jesse becomes her advocate, and what starts as a shared calling soon becomes a passionate love affair. On tour with Jesse, Jane is so captivated by the giant stadiums, the late nights, the wild parties, and the media attention, that she is blind-sided when she stumbles on the dark secret beneath Jesse’s music. With nowhere to turn, Jane must reckon with the shadows of her own past; what follows is the birth of one of most iconic albums of all time.  
 
Shot through with the lyrics, the icons, the lore, the adrenaline of the early 70s music scene, Songs in Ursa Major pulses with romantic longing and asks the question so many female artists must face: What are we willing to sacrifice for our dreams?
 
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        January 1, 2021

        Book publishing veteran Brodie offers a Sixties-set debut featuring rising vocal star Jane Quinn, who links her fate and her heart to folk legend Jesse Reid before discovering a dangerous secret underlying his music. Inspired by the relationship between James Taylor and Joni Mitchell; film rights sold.

        Copyright 2021 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        April 15, 2021
        A young musician rises and falls and rises again in the 1970s music industry. Inspired by the folk rock scene of the late 1960s and '70s, Brodie's debut novel follows Jane Quinn, an ethereal and talented musician, as she navigates love, loss, and stardom. A seventh-generation native of Bayleen Island, off the coast of Massachusetts, Jane has always led a life imbued with music; her mother was a minorly successful songwriter before her disappearance a decade ago, and Jane is the lead vocalist and guitarist in the Breakers, a local band. The novel opens in 1969 at the annual Island Folk Fest, where Jesse Reid--music's unassuming, blue-eyed, and handsome megastar--is set to headline. After an accident leaves Jesse unable to perform, Jane and the Breakers are unexpectedly thrust into the spotlight of the main stage--and their lives change forever. As Jesse recovers on the island, he and Jane are drawn to each other through their mutual passion for music and shared sense of loss. After recording their new album and making a few high-profile enemies, the Breakers hit the road as the opening act for Jesse's 1970 tour. Jane insists on keeping her relationship with Jesse a secret because she wants to be known for her music above all else: "She feared that, if the world knew her as Jesse's love interest before she'd ever opened her mouth on a national stage, that was all she'd ever be." When Jane makes a shocking discovery on tour, her life is blown up, and she returns to the island. As she comes to terms with long-kept secrets, she throws herself into her music and writes her magnum opus, Songs in Ursa Major. Throughout the novel, Brodie thoughtfully probes the different ways men and women were treated in the music industry: the men coddled and protected in the face of their faults while the women (especially rule breakers like Jane) were taken advantage of, undercut, and vilified. If the plot feels formulaic at times, Brodie's writing--about music, family, and grief--elevates the novel. An enjoyable debut that will appeal to fans of this iconic era.

        COPYRIGHT(2021) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        April 15, 2021
        Jane Quinn was raised in a matriarchal family on a remote tourist island off the coast of Massachusetts. Bayleen Island is home to a famous folk music festival, which, in the summer of 1969, draws teen idol Jesse Reid to Jane's hometown. Jane's band, the Breakers, serendipitously meets and ends up touring with Jesse, thus sparking Jane and Jesse's incendiary love affair. Jesse believes wholeheartedly in Jane's talent, and pushes her to write her first solo album, Songs in Ursa Major. Unfortunately, their love is ill-fated: their youth, family secrets, and the demands of record label contracts prove to be too much. Jane wants her talent to be valued apart from her connection to Jesse; Jesse simply wants Jane as his life's companion. Set in the grooving 1970s music world, this sprawling novel follows Jane and Jesse through the epic highs and lows of their careers. Moving from New York to Los Angeles to Greece to the Grammys, then always back home to the island, Brodie's debut is a furious page-turner, meditating on the glittering beast of fame.

        COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        April 26, 2021
        Brodie’s breezy debut draws on the American soft rock music scene of the 1960s and ’70s to mixed results. In the summer of 1969, “heir apparent of folk rock” Jesse Reid is supposed to perform at a famous festival on an island off the coast of Massachusetts that bears more than a passing resemblance to Martha’s Vineyard. When Jesse is suddenly sidelined by a motorcycle accident, local band The Breakers, led by 19-year-old Jane Quinn, takes his place, to resounding success. Soon, Jesse’s manager offers to make Jane a star, and Jane visits gorgeous, tormented Jesse at his parents’ island mansion, where he is recovering from his injuries. After Jane and her band get a record contract and start touring with Jesse, Jane and Jesse become romantically involved, and she becomes aware of his increasing dependence on drugs. Brodie’s narrative is at its best when focused on the mechanics and politics of music production, which emerge from the perspectives of the band’s manager and sound engineer. Brodie also has a clear grasp of the hurdles faced by Jane as a female musician, but the romantic and erotic aspects of the novel are less convincing (“his hands gripping her hips like handles on a plow”). In the end, this riff on A Star Is Born doesn’t transcend its well-worn origins.

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A transporting love story of music, stardom, heartbreak, and a gifted young singer-songwriter who must find her own voice: “In the vein of Daisy Jones and the Six and The Final Revival of Opal and Nev, [this] is an intoxicating chronicle of the music industry, inspired largely by the love affair between artists Joni Mitchell and James Taylor” (Elle)."

The year is 1969, and the Bayleen Island Folk Fest is abuzz with one name: Jesse Reid. Tall and soft-spoken, with eyes blue as stone-washed denim, Jesse Reid’s intricate guitar riffs and supple baritone are poised to tip from fame to legend with this one headlining performance. That is, until his motorcycle crashes on the way to the show.

Jane Quinn is a Bayleen Island local whose music flows as naturally as her long blond hair. When she and her bandmates are asked to play in Jesse Reid’s place at the festival, it almost doesn’t seem real. But Jane...
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