Simon the Fiddler

Simon the Fiddler

“The reader is treated to a kind of alchemy on the page when character, setting and song converge at all the right notes, generating an authentic humanity that is worth remembering and celebrating.” —  New York Times

The critically acclaimed, bestselling author of News of the World and Enemy Women returns to Texas in this atmospheric story, set at the end of the Civil War, about an itinerant fiddle player, a ragtag band of musicians with whom he travels trying to make a living, and the charming young Irish lass who steals his heart.

In March 1865, the long and bitter War between the States is winding down. Till now, twenty-three-year-old Simon Boudlin has evaded military duty thanks to his slight stature, youthful appearance, and utter lack of compunction about bending the truth. But following a barroom brawl in Victoria, Texas, Simon finds himself conscripted, however belatedly, into the Confederate Army. Luckily his talent with a fiddle gets him a comparatively easy position in a regimental band.

Weeks later, on the eve of the Confederate surrender, Simon and his bandmates are called to play for officers and their families from both sides of the conflict. There the quick-thinking, audacious fiddler can’t help but notice the lovely Doris Mary Dillon, an indentured girl from Ireland, who is governess to a Union colonel’s daughter.

After the surrender, Simon and Doris go their separate ways. He will travel around Texas seeking fame and fortune as a musician. She must accompany the colonel’s family to finish her three years of service. But Simon cannot forget the fair Irish maiden, and vows that someday he will find her again.

Incandescent in its beauty, told in Paulette Jiles’s trademark spare yet lilting style, Simon the Fiddler is a captivating, bittersweet tale of the chances a devoted man will take, and the lengths he will go to fulfill his heart’s yearning.

"Jiles’ sparse but lyrical writing is a joy to read. . . . Lose yourself in this entertaining tale.” —  Associated Press

Title:Simon the Fiddler
Edition Language:English
ISBN:9780062966766
Format Type:

    Simon the Fiddler Reviews

  • Angela M

    News of the World is one of my favorite books . I’ve been remiss since I read it by not reading more by Paulette Jiles. With this novel, I am once again inspired to get to the others that I haven...

  • Will Byrnes

    It was different then. The air was different and the long remote crying of the steamboat whistles as they came down from the Monongahela and Pittsburgh seemed to tell the story of a great nation an...

  • Beata

    Review to follow, all I can say now is that I loved it ....A big thank-you to Paulette Jiles, William Morrow & Edelweiss !...

  • Diane S ?

    3.5 The Civil War is near the end. Simon, had managed, helped by looking younger than his years, to escape having to serve in either army. His luck runs out, when the conscriptors, grab him and he fin...

  • Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

    **THIS BOOK IS NOW AVAILABLE***This was a 3 and ½ rounded up to a 4 for the wonderful premise and writing.I so wanted to love this book as much as I did News of the World. I love Paulette Jiles writ...

  • Elyse  Walters

    Shouting, fighting, swearing, drinking, drunks, smoking, bells of churches, armed men, slipping discipline, gambling, and music.... shine the light over the characters. Some of the dialogue made me la...

  • Esil

    I loved the title. I found the time period and setting interesting. The writing was good. But I just couldn’t get into the story. Unfortunately, reading Simon the Fiddler felt like a real slog to me...

  • Faith

    Simon Boudlin is a fiddler by trade. He looks younger than his 23 years and has used that fact to avoid having to fight in the Civil War. Finally near the end of the war in 1865 his luck runs out and ...

  • Bkwmlee

    3.5 starsTo say that I struggled with rating this book is an understatement. On the one hand, I absolutely loved the writing! Paulette Jiles is a masterful writer who has the ability to transport the ...

  • DeAnn

    3.75 musical stars (rounded up)Being a huge fan of “News of the World” – I was super excited to read this new book from Paulette Jiles. I did enjoy this one, but admittedly it has a slower pace ...