Under the Visible Life

Echlin, Kim

  9 Reviews

Although from completely different backgrounds, gifted musicians and friends Katherine Goodnow and Mahsa Weaver have much in common: both come from mixed-race parentage, both have lives constrained by cultural expectations, and both find solace and escape through music. Just like the improvisational jazz that brings them together, they are used to making the most of what is at hand, and relishing the moment.

Moving between Karachi, Montreal and New York, and spanning from the 1940s to the 1980s, this is a compelling and poignant story vibrating with the transformative power of music, love and friendship and ultimately the need to fight for one's dreams. [Larger font]



WELL 024
The book involved vastly different cultural perspectives but in both cases the women involved were subject to male control of one sort or another, and had different reasons for staying or leaving. Music held the stories together and the tandem stories worked well. Enjoyed by the majority of the group, but one outlier who didn't enjoy the style of story telling.
Most enjoyed the book. Would have liked more about their everyday lives and other social contacts. The reflective manner of writing and no speech marks irked some.
TAUR 009
We read this book several weeks ago, but the themes and the two women characters are still with me. It's amazing how their lives collided in the music scene, and then developed to such a very strong friendship supporting each other in their personal life and music. I'm not a fan of dual narratives but I think it works here. They experienced the struggles that women all over the world have to deal with everyday. Being taken seriously as professionals juggling marriage, children, housework and careers. An emotional rollercoaster!!!
Everyone enjoyed it. Most found they read quickly, as found they couldn't put it down.
The first time we have had a rating of "0", but also had a "5". Great discussion on women's roles, and how fortunate we are as NZ Pakeha women.
Mostly our group really loved the book, some of us so much that we were sorry when it finished. It produced very good discussion. One of our group struggled with the writing style and no speech marks, but most liked the style. Very easy to read.
WELL 183
All but one liked this book, a great lot of personalities and cultural diversity. We had a good discussion.
We all enjoyed this powerfully written story with its short chapters, alternating the two women's stories with their common link of music. There were many issues to provide a very stimulating discussion, and the changes that have taken place for some women over the years...
ROTO 006
This book was very well received by our group. Everybody found the book very interesting reading and it provided good material for discussion.