Ballantine, April 2002, 23.95, 288 pp.
Rocky Beach, a working class town in Nassau County, Long Island is home to Bess Stallone (no relation to the movie star) who defies her parents to take piano lessons from the music teacher at her school. She enters the competition to go to the prestigious Julliard School and works many part time jobs to pay for her lessons. She is a musical prodigy who is so afraid of performing in front of an audience that she faints whenever she tries.
When David Montagnier, a former child prodigy, comes into her life, he wants Bess as his partner in his two-piano repertoire. He isn't afraid she will faint and embarrass them both and as time goes by, she becomes one with David and the music while overcoming her stage freight. The pair is together both professionally and personally until tragedy strikes and Bess must find the courage to go on alone.
New York Times best-selling author Sally Mandel has written a realistic yet beautiful love story that will warm the heart of readers. Bess' meteoric rise to fame feels like it could happen to anyone who has talent. HEART AND SOUL is a heartwarming work that will be placed on the romance reader's keeper shelf.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner