Author: Tessa Duder

Age: 9-12 years

Publisher: Puffin, $12.95



Finally her mother's bowing arm drops. She lets out a long breath and looks at Geraldine. She is not smiling. When she is playing she never smiles.



"The Tchaikovsky Fourth. Never a moment's rest."



There are other names Geraldine has heard her mother use over the years: Brahms, Beethoven, Debussy, Stravinsky."God help me, Richard Strauss," she once said with something like despair in her voice.



Her mother's eyes return to the music stand."Get yourself a drink, Jellybean. I won't be long. Any homework?" she asks, but Geraldine knows that her answer will go unheard. The cello is already singing as she goes back to the kitchen.

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* Tomorrow: Geraldine's mother will be furious.