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“The author’s inside knowledge of the music business – its magic and its madness – and her deep understanding of love, loss, and life make it soar.”
—Laurel Massé, The Manhattan Transfer’s redheaded Diva

“You do not have to be a Jazz lover, but it makes it all the more fabulous if you are as the book takes the reader to some of my favorite Jazz clubs in New York City, and summer jazz festivals and venues in Netherlands, Germany, and Switzerland. A perfect read!”
—Debra Nesta, Luxury Experience

“FitzPatrick writes with a sensitive clarity, sympathetic understanding, and a refreshingly tart sense of humor. This is a fine book by a fine writer.”
—Michael Lydon, founding editor at Rolling Stone magazine

“Once you get to know Marisa Bridges, a woman with the ageless grace of Clarissa Dalloway and the contemporary courage and moxie of the mature Bridget Jones, you will never forget her.”
—Steven Lewis, poet, writing coach and author of A Hard Rain

“It was the first book in a long time that made me want to go to bed early so that I could continue with the story! Great stuff!”
—Ina Dittke, International Jazz Promoter

“Fitzpatrick writes from her heart and soul and her book flows beautifully; the way she writes often feels like you’re watching a film play before you; the characters are so well developed, time and place so well articulated.”
—Brandywine777, Amazon Top Reviewer

SYNOPSIS

The Drummer’s Widow is an extraordinary book of love, loss, and the lonely courage it takes to go on alone after decades of a fulfilled and happy marriage.

Jules and Marisa Bridges were more than just husband and wife; he was a famous drummer and she managed his international career. Their partnership was what gave her life meaning.

So when Jules is diagnosed with cancer and dies months later, Marisa withdraws into a lonely, dark corner, shutting herself away from family and friends. Fortunately, she is able to keep a dialogue going in her mind with Jules, and his suggestions are all positive and encouraging as they had always been.

She decides, without asking Jules, to sublets rooms in their Manhattan loft to pay her expenses. She finds her first tenant, Martin Starks, at her local bar after he tells her that he is a Juillard-trained jazz guitarist and then Cassandra Blanche, a bartender at Manhattan’s Bitter End, answers her Craigslist ad.

By chance Martin hears CiCi singing at Marisa’s piano and is blown away by her sultry voice. She confesses that she is CiCi Belle, a famous diva. She is in disguise, hiding out  from her demanding career in Hollywood, enslaved by her abusive, controlling manager.

Impulsively, Martin asks Cassandra to join his band’s tour. She says no until her manager shows up at the Bitter End and threatens her life if she doesn’t immediately come back to Hollywood with him. After Cassanda accepts Martin’s offer, they ask Marisa, a well-respected artist manager, to promote their band.

With Jules’ silent encouragement, Marisa catapaults herself back into the music business and using her contacts she books Martin’s quartet on a European summer festival tour. Their jagged road trip exposes the tension between those onstage under the brilliant limelight and those standing in the shadowy wings, responsible for getting them there.

By returning to her career and the music that makes her heart sing, Marisa conquers her grief and loneliness. As she adjusts to her new freedom, she rediscovers the possibility of having a good life, even without Jules by her side; his voice slowly fades away from her mind as she finds joy in being alive again.