About the Book
Julia Martens has a rich, powerful voice that could make her one of the world’s finest altos. Ever since she met the brilliant yet erratic conductor, Arno Weber, during her first audition in a church basement in Berlin, his insistent fingers have been shaping her sound. Now Handel’s “Refiner’s Fire” has become his obsession. Unfortunately during last two years, Julia has disappointed him with her inability to correctly sing every note of the challenging aria. As a single, working mother of two-year-old Bettina, Julia is doing her best to balance her life while rejecting the father’s attempts to control Bettina’s care. But everything changes one night while she is rehearsing the aria and Bettina tumbles out their fifth-floor apartment window onto the courtyard below. Suddenly with Julia’s competence as a mother in question, Bettina’s grandmother sues for custody. Refusing to relinquish her daughter or her music, Julia fights to retain what is rightfully hers. As she is led through her memories and into a new chapter where nothing is certain, Julia must somehow find a way to pursue her dreams while fulfilling her duties as a mother. Refiner’s Fire is the tale of a gifted alto and single mother living in Berlin as she struggles to balance her daughter’s needs with her passion for music.
About the Author
Laura Otis is a professor of English at Emory University. She holds a BS in biochemistry, an MA in neuroscience, a PhD in comparative literature, and an MFA in fiction. She is the author of six academic books and six novels, including Clean. Laura resides in Atlanta, Georgia, and Berlin, Germany.