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January 28, 2022

The Tenderest of Strings by Steven Schwartz ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts


"They were a fractured family, kept together by the tenderest of strings, but they were still here." (p 260)

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Tenderest of Strings
January 2022; Regal House; 978-1646032211
ebook, print (270 pages); family life

This beautifully written book is about a family in distress.  It's a book that you want to read fast to see how it ends but you also want to read slowly so you can savor every exquisite word.

Reuben and Ardith Rosenfeld and their two children move from Chicago to the small town of Welton, Colorado,  hoping to start a new life in the small town. They buy an older house that needs a lot of work but are convinced that they can take care of all the work.  Reuben buys the small newspaper in town and their lives as part of the community begins.  Ardith only has a few new friends and she is getting more and more depressed as she looks around her dilapidated house.  Because the house is in such a mess, so sees no reasons to keep it neat and clean.  Their oldest, Harry, is a loner who has no friends and keeps getting into trouble.  They try their best to find out exactly what's wrong with him but he never shares his life with his parents.  Reuben stays worried about his wife and son and works to stay connected with both of them.  Ardith has an affair with the town doctor and does a good job of keeping it a secret - often difficult to do in a small town where everyone knows their neighbors' business.  One night after a cookout with friends, there is a tragic hit and run accident that exposes deep secrets and begins to tear apart the Rosenfeld family.  Will the family survive and find the new life they were wishing for when they left Chicago or will the secrets be enough to keep them all on separate paths?

The characters in this book were very well written.  Even though it was hard to sympathize with some of them, it all worked together to show a family in disarray.  I especially liked Rueben.  He was a deep thinker who tried to help his family as best he could before it all imploded and after that he seemed to feel more pain than anyone else.  This is an intense story about a very human family who is faced with major decisions that will affect the rest of their lives as a family.

This intense book is a beautifully written story of a family falling apart. The characters - even the minor characters - are all written as very real people in a sympathetic manner.  Even if the reader doesn't like some of them at times, together they create a story that won't be forgotten soon.



Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook


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