Judging the Book By Its Cover: Orpheus in the 1920s

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A retelling of the myth of Orpheus set in the roaring ‘20s

My Ideas: Directly descended from the legendary Orpheus himself, Orr can control anyone with a single chord on his harp. As a result, he easily climbs the ranks to perform as the very first harpist in New York’s top speakeasy where the drinks never end and the lights never die.

But then his career catapults into an earth-shattering halt when his harp is stolen one particularly boisterous night. Without the influence of the harp, he finds himself out on the streets just trying to survive—all the while searching with the unconquerable purpose of: 1) finding the thief so he can 2) enact his revenge and 3) reclaim his life.

Goodreads summary: “With more than two million copies of her novels sold, New York Times bestselling author Geraldine Brooks has achieved both popular and critical acclaim. Now, Brooks takes on one of literature’s richest and most enigmatic figures: a man who shimmers between history and legend. Peeling away the myth to bring David to life in Second Iron Age Israel, Brooks traces the arc of his journey from obscurity to fame, from shepherd to soldier, from hero to traitor, from beloved king to murderous despot and into his remorseful and diminished dotage.

The Secret Chord provides new context for some of the best-known episodes of David’s life while also focusing on others, even more remarkable and emotionally intense, that have been neglected. We see David through the eyes of those who love him or fear him—from the prophet Natan, voice of his conscience, to his wives Mikhal, Avigail, and Batsheva, and finally to Solomon, the late-born son who redeems his Lear-like old age.” Find it on Goodreads

Results: Ahhh! I almost went with the story of David. I also purposely twisted my story away from the cover—I’ll admit that nothing about it really screamed the roaring ’20s, but once the idea occurred to me I couldn’t NOT do it.

Judging the Book By Its Cover is an ongoing series that imagines a potential story for a book based on the cover art alone.  Missed the previous one? Read it here.  

2 thoughts on “Judging the Book By Its Cover: Orpheus in the 1920s

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