A Song for Ana
In 1913 Jade Alexander escapes the arms of a controlling father to join a vaudeville act. There, she meets a handsome young musician from Romania, whose quiet demeanor and secret past draw her to him. But could he ever love someone as damaged as her? And can he save her from a journey of self-hatred before it is too late? More
Captain David Mihailescu frowns ahead at the horizon, and wonders why his older brother is currently sitting in his house, eating his sausages. His brother brings nightmares into their home (and a lack of sausages) but the nightmares are the worst because they are not fantasies, nor stories told in the dark. They are light and reality and everyday for David; they are unconscious remembrances of something very real; something that David wasn't supposed to witness, and yet continues to burn forever in his thoughts. Forever scarring the two little sisters who hung upon him at their parent's graves . . . And now David's brother has returned, eight years later, and terrible things seem to happen around him; and this time, it's David's six year old sister who suffers. David is right. He knows this, and his eyes flash as he throws Cornel into the street. It would have been so easy to take a different path, to see the lost look in his brother's eyes that mirrored his own . . . but this anger; this righteous indignation, this was right . . . right? Three dead, one as good as dead, and David takes his only remaining sister away from home, country, and hopefully their past, but not before glancing, for the last time, at along forgotten piano in the corner of the room.
I am not pathetic I am not pathetic I am not pathetic, Jade Alexander recites this to herself daily, almost by rote the way she reads Dickinson or Chaucer or runs her tongue around the circle of fifths of music and theory, almost without meaning. But all she really hears is that one word rattling round and round in her head. The word that HE spoke to her, PATHETIC. The word he spat at her, just before throwing Jade to the floor and ripping at her clothes. And then, because she cannot escape her own mind; she packs a bag and she runs; she runs from a father who ignores her, runs from the Professor who daily taunts her, runs from the empty space where her mother should reside, and runs until she's out of options and strangely enough her only option left is to follow in the footsteps of her mother and join the stage.
When David, broke and American now, wanders into a house of Vaudeville in search Ragtime music, he stops in his tracks, and stars at the old upright wood piano tucked away and nearly hidden by the backdrop on stage right. He MUST play it. In attempts to do so, David acquires work among actors and ever more increasingly finds a beautiful young girl laying with her face smashed against the keys of this piano he must play. Fascinated by her bright red hair and deep green eyes and the secrets she keeps locked away, David falls madly in love with her, as she does with his piano. But Jade has plans that don't include romance, in fact, they don't include ever being loved, because love is for the worthy and Jade would rather fight for something she believes in. And so Jade runs again, from the man and the music she so loves and toward a frantic fight for women's rights that will test her desire to remain alive. Imprisoned in a work camp, starved, beaten and berated . . . will Jade Alexander arise and break her chains long enough to realize she has a family willing to stand beside her in this fight, and a man who will love and protect her with his own life? Love, the meaning of true freedom, death and humor and hope are the notes that run through A Song for Ana.
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