Beethoven in Paradise, by Barbara O'Connor, Frances Foster Books, 1997.
I didn't actually buy this book. Instead, I bartered with the author for a signed copy. I think that still counts as a book I would "buy".
I've been following Barbara O'Connor's writing since Fame And Glory in Freedom, Georgia. I think I've read everything that she's written since Fame And Glory, but I haven't read everything she's written before it. Beethoven in Paradise is her first novel.
One of the things I've always liked about O'Connor's writing is her quirky, well-developed characters. I've wondered if her characters were always quirky or if she developed that as her writing style. This book answered that question: Her characters were quirky right from the start. As in the other books she's written, the setting is as much of a character and an influence as the people.
Again, as in other books, I love how she resisted the urge to tie up the story in a tidy, happy bow. The story ends on a positive note, but not all the problems have been solved.