Feature Book By Caren Umbarger

The Passion of Marta

The Passion of Marta



Six years in the making, Award winning author weaves brilliant tapestry with highly anticipated second novel – Caren Umbarger’s 2nd novel, “The Passion of Marta”, tells the story of a violin whose dazzling beauty and resonance have a profound impact on the lives it touches.

The night young Marta Lindauer first hears the sound of Leopold Wilhelm’s exquisite lady’s violin, an ancient spirit awakens within her and she is overwhelmed by the desire to learn how to play those beautiful haunting melodies. Her brother’s bar mitzvah teacher, Ascher Thanhausser, bears witness as Marta’s consuming desire to play the violin compels her down a path of secrecy and deception at the Lindauer inn. When tragic events ensue, he finds himself inextricably bound. In her diary, seven years later, Marta writes the story of her life. What profound truths lie hidden in the deepest, secret heart of this gifted 16-year-old girl? What surprises await? Set in 1780s Germany, The Passion of Marta is an epic journey into the heart of human fallibility – where the tangled complexity of treachery, deceit and betrayal is tempered by hope and the enduring power of love.

“I wanted to write a book that many people could relate to,” Umbarger says. “Although ‘The Passion of Marta’ takes place almost 250 years ago, it speaks to contemporary issues, including immigration, assimilation, religious freedom, women’s roles, and also abuse. Much of my own personal growth and understanding has been catalyzed by reading novels written by and about women – women in trouble, women in different cultures, women holding together their own and everyone else’s lives around them. My desire is to contribute to this lexicon of work in a way that inspires women and helps inform men.”

About the Author Caren Umbarger

Caren Umbarger

Caren Umbarger attended Bennington College, earned a BA in violin performance from Hamline University, and has been a professional musician and string teacher for more than thirty-five years. Caren grew up in Mason City, Iowa; taught, performed and conducted in Minneapolis for three decades; moved to Florida in 2010 and served as artistic director of the Flagler Youth Orchestra for three years. Her first novel, “Coming To: A Midwestern Tale” won a 2011 Florida Book Award Bronze Medal for general fiction. She and her husband live, work and play in St. Augustine.


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