HOSTED BY USA TODAY BOOKS REPORTER BARBARA VANDENBURGH
First Draft Book Club: Simon the Fiddler by Paulette Jiles
7-8:30PM SATURDAY, AUGUST 29
LOCATION: ONLINE
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You can't come to us, so First Draft Book Bar is coming to you! Pour a drink, fire up the computer, and join USA Today Books Editor Barbara VanDenburgh for a Zoom discussion about August's club pick, Simon the Fiddler.

It's free to attend.


RSVP below or directly on Eventbrite. Get your copy of Simon the Fiddler here.

Sign up for Barbara VanDenburgh's weekly "Feel Good 5" newsletter here, and join our First Draft Book Club Facebook group here.


ABOUT THE BOOK

“The reader is treated to a kind of alchemy on the page when character, setting and song converge at all the right notes, generating an authentic humanity that is worth remembering and celebrating.” — New York Times

The critically acclaimed, bestselling author of News of the World and Enemy Women returns to Texas in this atmospheric story, set at the end of the Civil War, about an itinerant fiddle player, a ragtag band of musicians with whom he travels trying to make a living, and the charming young Irish lass who steals his heart.

In March 1865, the long and bitter War between the States is winding down. Till now, twenty-three-year-old Simon Boudlin has evaded military duty thanks to his slight stature, youthful appearance, and utter lack of compunction about bending the truth. But following a barroom brawl in Victoria, Texas, Simon finds himself conscripted, however belatedly, into the Confederate Army. Luckily his talent with a fiddle gets him a comparatively easy position in a regimental band.

Weeks later, on the eve of the Confederate surrender, Simon and his bandmates are called to play for officers and their families from both sides of the conflict. There the quick-thinking, audacious fiddler can’t help but notice the lovely Doris Mary Dillon, an indentured girl from Ireland, who is governess to a Union colonel’s daughter.

After the surrender, Simon and Doris go their separate ways. He will travel around Texas seeking fame and fortune as a musician. She must accompany the colonel’s family to finish her three years of service. But Simon cannot forget the fair Irish maiden, and vows that someday he will find her again.

Incandescent in its beauty, told in Paulette Jiles’s trademark spare yet lilting style, Simon the Fiddler is a captivating, bittersweet tale of the chances a devoted man will take, and the lengths he will go to fulfill his heart’s yearning.

"Jiles’ sparse but lyrical writing is a joy to read. . . . Lose yourself in this entertaining tale.” — Associated Press



WHAT IS FIRST DRAFT BOOK CLUB?
First Draft Book Club is the official book club of First Draft Book Bar – the coffee, beer, and wine bar inside Changing Hands Phoenix. Every month, USA Today Books Reporter Barbara VanDenburgh picks a hot new book and hosts a guided book club discussion.

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