Review: Glissando by Debbie Burke

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☆☆➹⁀☆ 3.5 stars ☆➹⁀☆☆


What It’s About:

Introducing Glissando: A Story of Love, Lust and Jazz, about a highly successful, mid-life divorcee who dabbles in the jazz world as a distraction from her loneliness. Through the local college’s jazz band, she meets the scorchingly hot Vince Keyes, a trumpet

wunderkind who is also pushing 55. But Vince is married to a 20-something former student. At first, Ellie forces her way into a connection with Vince, but soon they find themselves falling into a blazing affair. Ellie knows this kind of love may never come again, but just when it looks like she has gathered the strength to move forward alone and unentangled, she makes a decision that is sure to have devastating consequences.

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Guest Reviewer Frannie’s Thoughts:

Ellie Greenberg is a paralegal at a prestigious law firm in the Catskill Mountains in New York. She is high-powered, driven and very bright. She married young and had a horrible divorce, which scarred her for many years. As a result, she put her heart and soul into her work and became someone that everyone depended on at the law firm. But what about her life? Was it all work and no play? What was she to do that would be fun and entertaining for her?

Ellie’s boss, a younger and happily married woman, decides to take her under her wing and recommends that Ellie go to the local college and join the jazz troupe. Ellie has always loved jazz, so why not? Ellie starts playing with the jazz band and decides to engulf herself in this new world. It is just the release she needs, and it changes something within her, allowing her to expand her horizons and open herself to other people and new passions. After so many years of being stifled, she is free again. Then comes the lusty man of her dreams, a soloist trumpet player named Vince Keyes. The problem is that he is married, so he is off limits, but she can dream and this allows her to reignite her passion. Lust is awakened in her again and at the age of 50+ she is invigorated.

At the same time Stan Fieldman, a powerful lawyer at her firm, is also courting Ellie. He is strong, bright and very in love with Ellie. Ellie is torn; although she loves Stan, she cannot get rid of her feelings for Vince.  Stan has some of his own quirks, and when she discovers them, the relationship takes a turn for the worse. She is happy with the secret relationship she has with her co-worker, but she cannot seem to take her eyes off the “untouchable” trumpet player.

I enjoyed the book but found that the author could have given a little more depth to the characters.  Was Ellie lonely?  What happened when she left Stan?  Did Vince really love her too or was it just a fling? I found many of the characters flat and not captivating.   There were some steamy sex scenes; but not enough to carry the book.


About the Author: Debbie Burke has written hundreds of columns and articles, was the editor of an award-winning business journal and the editor of a lifestyle magazine. She played alto saxophone in concert bands and jazz bands. Brooklyn-born, she has lived in the northeast US for what seems like forever, but now inhabits the Deep South.

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