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An exhilarating debut novel set under the dazzling lights of late 1950s Broadway, where a controversial new musical pushes the boundaries of love, legacy, and art. Growing up in rural Wisconsin, Eleanor O'Hanlon always felt different. In love with musical theater from a young age, she memorized every show album she could get her hands on. So, when she discovers an open call An exhilarating debut novel set under the dazzling lights of late 1950s Broadway, where a controversial new musical pushes the boundaries of love, legacy, and art. Growing up in rural Wisconsin, Eleanor O'Hanlon always felt different. In love with musical theater from a young age, she memorized every show album she could get her hands on. So, when she discovers an open call for one of her favorite productions, she leaves behind everything she knows to run off to New York City and audition. Raw and untrained, she catches the eye of famed composer Don Mannheim, who catapults her into the leading role of his new work, "A Tender Thing," a provacative love story between a white woman and black man, one never before seen on a Broadway stage. As word of the production gets out, an outpouring of protest whips into a fury. Between the intensity of rehearsals, her growing friendship with her co-star Charles, and her increasingly muddled creative--and personal--relationship with Don, Eleanor begins to question her own naïve beliefs about the world. When explosive secrets threaten to shatter the delicate balance of the company, and the possibility of the show itself, Eleanor must face a new reality and ultimately decide what it is she truly wants. Pulsing with vitality and drive of 1950s New York, Emily Neuberger's enthralling debut immerses readers right into the heart of Broadway's Golden Age, a time in which the music soared and the world was on the brink of change.


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An exhilarating debut novel set under the dazzling lights of late 1950s Broadway, where a controversial new musical pushes the boundaries of love, legacy, and art. Growing up in rural Wisconsin, Eleanor O'Hanlon always felt different. In love with musical theater from a young age, she memorized every show album she could get her hands on. So, when she discovers an open call An exhilarating debut novel set under the dazzling lights of late 1950s Broadway, where a controversial new musical pushes the boundaries of love, legacy, and art. Growing up in rural Wisconsin, Eleanor O'Hanlon always felt different. In love with musical theater from a young age, she memorized every show album she could get her hands on. So, when she discovers an open call for one of her favorite productions, she leaves behind everything she knows to run off to New York City and audition. Raw and untrained, she catches the eye of famed composer Don Mannheim, who catapults her into the leading role of his new work, "A Tender Thing," a provacative love story between a white woman and black man, one never before seen on a Broadway stage. As word of the production gets out, an outpouring of protest whips into a fury. Between the intensity of rehearsals, her growing friendship with her co-star Charles, and her increasingly muddled creative--and personal--relationship with Don, Eleanor begins to question her own naïve beliefs about the world. When explosive secrets threaten to shatter the delicate balance of the company, and the possibility of the show itself, Eleanor must face a new reality and ultimately decide what it is she truly wants. Pulsing with vitality and drive of 1950s New York, Emily Neuberger's enthralling debut immerses readers right into the heart of Broadway's Golden Age, a time in which the music soared and the world was on the brink of change.

30 review for A Tender Thing

  1. 5 out of 5

    MicheleReader

    A Tender Thing starts out as a traditional tale of a girl with a big singing voice who is enamored with Broadway musical theater and escapes her boring life on a Wisconsin farm heading to New York City in search of fame on the Great White Way. A good premise for an enjoyable book but what transpires is much more complex as Eleanor O'Hanlon meets Don Mannheim, a star composer who is taken by her innocence and determination. She is given the lead in his new musical, "A Tender Thing," which is a lo A Tender Thing starts out as a traditional tale of a girl with a big singing voice who is enamored with Broadway musical theater and escapes her boring life on a Wisconsin farm heading to New York City in search of fame on the Great White Way. A good premise for an enjoyable book but what transpires is much more complex as Eleanor O'Hanlon meets Don Mannheim, a star composer who is taken by her innocence and determination. She is given the lead in his new musical, "A Tender Thing," which is a love story between a white woman and a black man. This is the late 1950s and presenting a love story of this kind is beyond controversial. This book gives lovers of musicals a great look behind the scenes in the making of a show during the golden age of Broadway when openings made the front page, above the fold, of the New York Times. And it movingly presents the harsh realities of prejudice during the early days of the civil rights movement. Bravo! Many thanks to Edelweiss, G.P. Putnam’s Sons and Emily Neuberger for an advance copy of this impressive debut novel which will be published on April 7, 2020. Review posted at MicheleReader.com

  2. 5 out of 5

    Karen M

    Think All About Eve, A Star Is born, 42nd Street and picture that girl pulled out of the chorus or standing at the stage door in the rain and you have an idea of what the beginning of the book is about. Eleanor from Wisconsin gets her big break on Broadway. That’s really a simplification of the start of this book but those were the movies going though my mind as I was reading. This book is about so much more than just Eleanor and her burning desire and unfounded belief that she is destined to sta Think All About Eve, A Star Is born, 42nd Street and picture that girl pulled out of the chorus or standing at the stage door in the rain and you have an idea of what the beginning of the book is about. Eleanor from Wisconsin gets her big break on Broadway. That’s really a simplification of the start of this book but those were the movies going though my mind as I was reading. This book is about so much more than just Eleanor and her burning desire and unfounded belief that she is destined to star in a musical written by Don Mannheim and miraculously being singled out by him. People can become so obsessed in doing the thing they love that they shut out the rest of the world until they are forced to open their eyes. Reality can return with a crash which is exactly what happens to Eleanor when she sees beyond herself and the bright lights of Broadway at last. The 1950’s were a turbulent period filled with protests, riots, racism, and civil rights, all of which Eleanor finally has to face when the musical is in Boston for pre-Broadway performances. It was an interesting take on a turbulent period in history. I won this ARC in a First Reads giveaway. Thank you to G.P. Putnam’s Sons and the author, Emily Neuberger.

  3. 5 out of 5

    oohlalabooks

    This book deals with a lot of topics that came together beautifully. Set in the 1950’s Eleanor has aspirations to be on Broadway and when an opportunity arises she takes it. She’s a small town gal in the big city of lights, with views she’s not accustomed to, such as, diversity & racism, and work ethics. A good read! Thanks to the publisher for this ARC via Goodreads. This is my honest review. This book deals with a lot of topics that came together beautifully. Set in the 1950’s Eleanor has aspirations to be on Broadway and when an opportunity arises she takes it. She’s a small town gal in the big city of lights, with views she’s not accustomed to, such as, diversity & racism, and work ethics. A good read! Thanks to the publisher for this ARC via Goodreads. This is my honest review.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Erin Merlo

    Historical fiction fans and musical lovers this is a book for you! A TENDER THING is a beautifully written story about a strong-willed midwestern gal who takes on life in NYC to follow her passion—life on the stage. Eleanor immediately felt like a close friend, and I could not put this book down. Full of heartbreak, hope, and love this is a book I won’t soon forget.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kales

    As a theatre lover, this book hit so many heart strings. I was so excited to read a historical fiction novel about Broadway and New York in the 1950s. It was right up my alley in terms of history and subject matter. It had all of the behind the scenes stuff that I love. It was full of glamour and glitz and drama. I enjoyed that part of the whole story most of all. Eleanor was an intriguing character and I liked following her story. However, there were many times that I wanted to shake her. Her na As a theatre lover, this book hit so many heart strings. I was so excited to read a historical fiction novel about Broadway and New York in the 1950s. It was right up my alley in terms of history and subject matter. It had all of the behind the scenes stuff that I love. It was full of glamour and glitz and drama. I enjoyed that part of the whole story most of all. Eleanor was an intriguing character and I liked following her story. However, there were many times that I wanted to shake her. Her naivety was irritating, understandable being a white bread farm girl from Wisconsin. I struggled with how ignorant she was when it came to anything outside of straight white girl things. I also struggled with how apparently easy it was for her to get a leading role on Broadway WITHOUT EVER HAVING ANY PREVIOUS THEATRE EXPERIENCE! Like I get that happens, but it's definitely the anomaly. This book made it seem like this magical, easy thing. That said, I liked the process of show, rehearsal, previews. The storyline and the process was really the best part of the whole book. You could see how much Emily Neuberger knows and loves theatre. Musical theatre specifically. It's in her bones which I definitely feel whole heartedly. I'll be curious to see how other people respond to the race relations in the book. It's something that I thought was handled well, however, I am a white cisgendered female and my perspective is limited. I think it was important and seeing Emily's growth is important, but I wonder if this story would have been better from Charles's perspective. Or I would have appreciated a bit at the ending where Charles ended up writing the story (and getting credit for it damnit!). I don't think we need another story about a white girl become more woke, but I think I'm having a more sympathetic moment towards this story because of the theatre representation. I do recommend that people read it but I am weary to see what other people think when this book comes out. Conclusion: Buy

  6. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Kelly

    A TENDER THING is a compelling, page-turning, and thought-provoking read that I devoured in two thoroughly enjoyable sittings. I love musical theater but I'm not very knowledgeable about its history, and this novel provides a fascinating peek behind the curtain (forgive the pun) of how productions come together and the New York City ecosystem they inhabit. It also tells a deeply human story about difference and privilege with nuance and care. And it ALSO hooks you with relationships—between fami A TENDER THING is a compelling, page-turning, and thought-provoking read that I devoured in two thoroughly enjoyable sittings. I love musical theater but I'm not very knowledgeable about its history, and this novel provides a fascinating peek behind the curtain (forgive the pun) of how productions come together and the New York City ecosystem they inhabit. It also tells a deeply human story about difference and privilege with nuance and care. And it ALSO hooks you with relationships—between family members, friends, romantic prospects, colleagues, and, most significantly (New Yorkers know I'm dead serious here), ROOMMATES—that feel raw and real. As Garrard Conley aptly points out in his cover blurb, this novel's themes echo those of some of the best classic musicals (West Side Story, dare I say Hairspray?) while using the singular experiences of a 1959 young woman to examine much broader issues that were as crucial in that historical moment as they are in our own. Eleanor is a many-layered and lovable protagonist who you want to cheer for as much as you want to sit her down and have one of those "girl, I love you but you have GOT to get it together" friend talks. Also, if you, like me, are a fan both of historical fiction and of NBC's ill-fated but forever iconic series Smash (criminally underrated), this will scratch an itch in your brain you didn't know was still there. An impressive debut and a delectable read. Highly recommend.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rose Bisogno

    Miss Neuberger's debut novel is a delight to read. A thoughtful journey that carefully depicts a young woman's journey to star on Broadway, the highs, the lows, the exciting adventure of finally living your dream, as well as the great disappointments when the reality of those dreams inevitably rears its head.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Rachel Tambornino

    As a theater lover and a farm girl from Wisconsin I could relate with this book on many levels. I loved the characters and their budding relationships.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Susie Dumond

    When an open call is posted to audition for a famous Broadway composer, Eleanor flees her home on a pig farm in Wisconsin for the bright lights of 1950s New York City. She lands a role in a controversial, integrated new musical that is sure to raise eyebrows. And between protests of the show and becoming the composer’s muse, Eleanor questions her own views of the world and the theatre. As a musical theatre fan, I really enjoyed this story and the atmospheric setting. Eleanor is a great protagonis When an open call is posted to audition for a famous Broadway composer, Eleanor flees her home on a pig farm in Wisconsin for the bright lights of 1950s New York City. She lands a role in a controversial, integrated new musical that is sure to raise eyebrows. And between protests of the show and becoming the composer’s muse, Eleanor questions her own views of the world and the theatre. As a musical theatre fan, I really enjoyed this story and the atmospheric setting. Eleanor is a great protagonist, and a bit different from the typical "actress trying to make it on Broadway". She's got her own problematic views and misconceptions; she's not perfect, but she's doing her best. I love the realistic messiness of the artistic process. I would have liked to see some of the other characters developed a bit more, but overall, really enjoyable. If you like Golden Age Broadway, you won't be disappointed!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    Set in 1950s Broadway in the era of the musical, I expected this story to be ABOUT Broadway, but it's actually a commentary on racism and sexism in the United States and particularly upon white fragility. The commentary itself is effective, with Charles, Eleanor's black co-star regularly having to explain to her what it's like to be a black man and why the relationship covered by the musical of a black man and white woman would be difficult nigh impossible. In response, Eleanor's guilt often mak Set in 1950s Broadway in the era of the musical, I expected this story to be ABOUT Broadway, but it's actually a commentary on racism and sexism in the United States and particularly upon white fragility. The commentary itself is effective, with Charles, Eleanor's black co-star regularly having to explain to her what it's like to be a black man and why the relationship covered by the musical of a black man and white woman would be difficult nigh impossible. In response, Eleanor's guilt often makes her resent Charles, because it's not her fault and why should he make her feel bad and uncomfortable? It's classic white fragility illustrated well. There's also regular overt commentary about the fact that, though Don has done a fairly good job with the story as a white man writing about an experience he has no part of, there are large aspects he doesn't understand and that his motivation is fame, rather than political or moral. There's also commentary on the way the white directors and writers use the labor of people of color and women while not giving them the same treatment or worrying about their safety. Don regularly gets ideas from Eleanor (and probably Charles), but he gives them no credit unless they're in private. There's some commentary on the wage gap between male and female actors as well, and on the way gay men, even in theatre, had to hide their truth. What works less well is Eleanor as the vehicle for this story. She's effective, because she's from small town America and has to learn about race essentially for the first time, so she runs through all the reactions and can learn lessons. However, for all that she's become a better person by the end, I still didn't like her or root for her. In fact, the only characters I liked were Charles and his wife, Gwen. Eleanor's selfish, and, while it's somewhat addressed, I didn't feel like she really grew out of that. This isn't, to be fair, entirely a bad thing, because I'm not convinced you're meant to like Eleanor that much. Still, it means that I wasn't as connected to this story emotionally, which is a shame. The audiobook's really well done, read by Neuberger herself, who is a theatrical singer and sings a few times during the production. My guess is that I wouldn't have finished this one if I'd been reading the print, because of the disconnect, but Neuberger's passionate rendition kept the book engaging.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Alisa

    Thank you Putnam for an arc of this magical book. Gosh, I don’t even know where to begin. From an overarching theme of celebration of our differences and what makes us human to magical precision that the author used to describe the universe that is live theater. This book made my heart feel at home.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Kim McGee

    A naive farm girl from Wisconsin runs away to New York to make it big on Broadway but instead of landing the lead role in the next Rogers and Hammerstein she is given the lead in the most controversial play Broadway has ever seen. This scenerio could happen today but this story takes place in the 1950's and the show that Eleanor lands the lead in is a love story between a white girl and a black man and they do more than hold hands on stage, igniting deep seated racial tensions. She must not only A naive farm girl from Wisconsin runs away to New York to make it big on Broadway but instead of landing the lead role in the next Rogers and Hammerstein she is given the lead in the most controversial play Broadway has ever seen. This scenerio could happen today but this story takes place in the 1950's and the show that Eleanor lands the lead in is a love story between a white girl and a black man and they do more than hold hands on stage, igniting deep seated racial tensions. She must not only learn the cut throat world of the theatre but also learns first hand the secret segregated world for people of color and homosexuals and handle her new independence and sexual awakening. This well written debut starts off with an innocent who must open herself up to much more than she ever dreamed of. The lesson is that just because you are blinded by the lights of Broadway doesn't mean you shouldn't fight for the people hiding in its shadow. Fans of CHELSEA GIRLS and CITY OF GIRLS and avid watchers of THE MARVELOUS MRS. MAIZEL will enjoy this slice of New York history. My thanks to the publisher for the advance copy.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Emily Neuberger

    I mean, I thought it was great!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Chris Kennelly

    I found this ARC at the independent bookstore where I volunteer, and I immediately took it. It’s set on Broadway in the 1950s. Need I say more. 😉

  15. 5 out of 5

    Reading Mama

    I stayed up until 3 in the morning finishing this beautiful story. Eleanor is a young woman who lives on a pig farm, when she decides to cash in her parents' war bonds for a one way ticket to New York to try to make it as an actress. She gets cast in an extremely controversial Broadway show- her character, Molly, a white woman, falls in love with Luke, a black man. The story follows not only her journey in New York, but also their journey as they prepare for this show, while fighting the racism I stayed up until 3 in the morning finishing this beautiful story. Eleanor is a young woman who lives on a pig farm, when she decides to cash in her parents' war bonds for a one way ticket to New York to try to make it as an actress. She gets cast in an extremely controversial Broadway show- her character, Molly, a white woman, falls in love with Luke, a black man. The story follows not only her journey in New York, but also their journey as they prepare for this show, while fighting the racism and hatred of everyone around them. This was such a deep, moving read. Personally, I related to this story because my mom is white and my dad is black. I know they faced criticism from their peers and families when they started dating. Luckily, my husband and I, who are also an interracial couple, haven't faced the same scrutiny that these characters did, but it isn't lost on me those who have paved the way before us, including my parents. Eleanor was forced to face her own prejudices and naivety through the show, and deal with being disowned by her family. Charles, the black man who plays Luke, faces his own challenges: navigating the predominantly white world of theatre while dealing with threats and violence from people around him. The stakes are high because Charles has a baby on the way. Eleanor and Charles stand together as they use the show as a vehicle of social change. Powerful, moving, profound, A Tender Thing is a poignant look at feminism and racism. I think if you enjoyed A Good Neighborhood and/or the old Hollywood vibes of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo, you will enjoy this book. Thank you @putnambooks for this gorgeous finished copy.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Karlie Schaefer

    "The world makes you earn your happiness" A Tender Thing is an extremely engaging novel. In all honesty, I would have never picked this book up to read if I hadn't been given an advanced reader copy of it, but I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed it even though I'm not into musical theater or intrigued much by the 1950s. Emily Neuberger is a really captivating writer. I kept wanting to read one more chapter, then one more chapter, instead of going to sleep. I liked the growth of the main "The world makes you earn your happiness" A Tender Thing is an extremely engaging novel. In all honesty, I would have never picked this book up to read if I hadn't been given an advanced reader copy of it, but I was pleasantly surprised. I really enjoyed it even though I'm not into musical theater or intrigued much by the 1950s. Emily Neuberger is a really captivating writer. I kept wanting to read one more chapter, then one more chapter, instead of going to sleep. I liked the growth of the main character, Eleanor, and the focus on the racial issues of the time period.  I will definitely be interested in reading future works by this author. I also intend to buy a copy for a friend's birthday next month as I really think they will enjoy it. Disclaimer: The quoted text is from an uncorrected proof of this book that I received from G.P. Putnam's Sons through Shelf Awareness in exchange for my honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Matthew

    A solid 3.5 for me. In the first couple chapters, it feels like a Cinderella story. Eleanor, a farm girl from 1950's Wisconsin; becomes enchanted by musicals, and with the help of a music store clerk, lands in an open call for a new show in New York. She gets the part in the musical A Tender Thing, and has to juggle the new challenges and responsibilities of being an ingenue, and having to manage being in a show about an interracial relationship. Until the show previews in Boston, this book chugs A solid 3.5 for me. In the first couple chapters, it feels like a Cinderella story. Eleanor, a farm girl from 1950's Wisconsin; becomes enchanted by musicals, and with the help of a music store clerk, lands in an open call for a new show in New York. She gets the part in the musical A Tender Thing, and has to juggle the new challenges and responsibilities of being an ingenue, and having to manage being in a show about an interracial relationship. Until the show previews in Boston, this book chugs along like a standard romantic comedy, and it's perfectly charming. We as readers are treated to the world of 1950's Broadway (where Rodgers and Hammerstein are playing down the street from My Fair Lady), as Eleanor sees it, all shiny and new. We follow her on her journey from being a fresh faced midwesterner making gaffes about how New York is run, to a new starlet; on the arm of her composer. And all this would make this book charming, but a little--been there, done that. What's the twist here? The twist is how Eleanor is basically having to come to terms with race relations for the first time. (And yes, I do realize the irony of reading this book now and how careful I have to be.) Eleanor's prejudice doesn't seem to come from a malicious place, (she says she hasn't even met a black man before meeting her co-star Charles.) but rather a product of her time. She actually reminds me less of a real person, and more of a Disney Princess. In fact, if she had come to New York just a year of two earlier (It's hinted that this story takes place over the course of 1958, with the show officially opening in early 1959), she might have run into Julie Andrews at the audition for Cinderella. And she might have gotten that part! But I digress. The ending; and I think this is the point, hits the reader like a truck; with the book's Boston set scenes being a dress rehearsal for the ending (there are a lot of protests). But when we get to the ending, there are a lot of questions, the book turns into a mystery for a chapter, and it is quick but ultimately satisfying. Pick this up if you're into romantic comedies, analogues to current events, or musical theater.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Caleb Hoyer

    I was probably predisposed to like this book. It's about an idealistic young person from the midwest who loves musical theater and dreams of working on Broadway. I was an idealistic young person from the midwest who loved musical theater and dreamed of working on Broadway. But even with that predisposition aside, this book moved me and thoroughly entertained me. It begins almost as a fairy tale. The protagonist, Eleanor, is extremely likable and easy to root for, and when she impulsively moves t I was probably predisposed to like this book. It's about an idealistic young person from the midwest who loves musical theater and dreams of working on Broadway. I was an idealistic young person from the midwest who loved musical theater and dreamed of working on Broadway. But even with that predisposition aside, this book moved me and thoroughly entertained me. It begins almost as a fairy tale. The protagonist, Eleanor, is extremely likable and easy to root for, and when she impulsively moves to New York, her dreams rapidly come true. It feels sparkly and technicolor, like an episode of Mrs. Maisel. But as the story progresses, Neuberger peels back the surface of that dream come true little by little, revealing all the truer and more complicated layers underneath. And what began as a fun fantasy begins to feel more authentic and confusing. It's a simple device in theory, but Neuberger makes it look easy, and I would imagine it's anything but. She really poignantly captures how, as you achieve your dreams, they morph and alter, and you have to seek out new ones, and reconcile what you dreamed of with reality. There is also a prominent arc of Eleanor being awakened to the racial injustices of the US in the late 1950s, before being woke was a thing. Neuberger never feels preachy, nor like she's spelling out pat answers to deeply complex issues. They arise so naturally, and are grappled with, not tied up with bows. Lastly, as a lover of music and theater, I've always been frustrated that books, movies, and series about the arts always focus on performance and gloss over rehearsal. As anyone in the arts know, rehearsal is where all the real drama is! It is SO refreshing to see the development and rehearsal of a new musical mined for all its dramatic worth. It's gratifying to know this was clearly written by someone who understands and appreciates that process. All in all, I highly recommend it, especially if you love musicals!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Marzie

    Emily Neuberger has written a polished and quietly powerful novel of historical fiction in A Tender Thing. Built around the idea of a young actress and singer who leaves the Midwest to try to become a Broadway star in the 1950s, the novel's skillful take on the racism of the era is deftly woven through the story. Eleanor O'Hanlon has grown up with one true love in her life- musical theater. After traveling to NYC with her lifelong friend Rosie and attending several auditions, she captures the ey Emily Neuberger has written a polished and quietly powerful novel of historical fiction in A Tender Thing. Built around the idea of a young actress and singer who leaves the Midwest to try to become a Broadway star in the 1950s, the novel's skillful take on the racism of the era is deftly woven through the story. Eleanor O'Hanlon has grown up with one true love in her life- musical theater. After traveling to NYC with her lifelong friend Rosie and attending several auditions, she captures the eye of Don Mannheim, a famous composer who has long been one of Eleanor's favorites. Soon she is cast in a new musical, "A Tender Thing", in the starring role of Molly, a young woman who falls in love with a black man, Luke, and defies society's expectations by wanting to marry him. Initially, the novel appears to be about Eleanor having to overcome her own beliefs about African-Americans, the novel digs far deeper than that. It examines the theater community's limiting perceptions of race and sexual orientation and the ugliness of Jim Crow laws that were still very much a part of the era in the Northeast. Neuberger manages to capture Eleanor's almost childlike naïveté about the world she has entered without making her seem unappealing. Better still, her single-mindedness is never so blindered that she is rendered unsympathetic. Most of the secondary characters like Don and Charles are well-developed. While I could quibble with a few of the other characters who seemed thin on the page (Rosie and Tommy, in particular), overall the book is successful in capturing an era in which Broadway thrived and society was on the cusp of change. The audiobook, narrated by the author, is well done, though the sung passages, heavy on a thin soprano voice with excessive vibrato, were not that pleasing to my ear. Thankfully, they were present only briefly. I received a Digital Review Copy and a paper review copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    Book Review: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5⠀ ⠀ Ms. Neuberger - you are a literary genius. A Tender Thing is an absolute GIFT. I feel honored to have read it. ⠀ ⠀ This dazzling debut novel (debut!? WOW) is set in the late 1950s on Broadway where a controversial new musical pushes the boundaries of love, legacy, and art.⠀ ⠀ I was so, so drawn into this novel. I felt like I was put into the story line by the author so that I was able to have the truest experience possible. I am a sucker for anything 50’s and Broadway relat Book Review: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️💫/5⠀ ⠀ Ms. Neuberger - you are a literary genius. A Tender Thing is an absolute GIFT. I feel honored to have read it. ⠀ ⠀ This dazzling debut novel (debut!? WOW) is set in the late 1950s on Broadway where a controversial new musical pushes the boundaries of love, legacy, and art.⠀ ⠀ I was so, so drawn into this novel. I felt like I was put into the story line by the author so that I was able to have the truest experience possible. I am a sucker for anything 50’s and Broadway related, and this cover also drew my eye in. Following Eleanor as she finds herself and follows her dreams was an exciting journey. As we meet Charles later on, along with a whole cast of beautifully developed characters, we find ourselves completely immersed. I laughed, cried, and felt sick to my stomach. You truly feel like you’re on the brink of change, experiencing the racial inequalities of this time period.⠀ ⠀ This is a novel I avoided reading because I didn’t want to finish it. I have been lucky to have a few of those lately. I wouldn’t allow myself more than a few chapters at a time. But towards the end, I couldn’t help but to devour it. This was a gift, Emily Neuberger is a gift, and I cannot wait to see what other works she creates in the future. WOW.⠀ ⠀ (Thank you to Edelweiss, the publisher, and the author for the ARC of A Tender Thing).⠀

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kristine

    A Tender Thing by Emily Neuberger is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late April. There's a very salt-of-earth, humble beginnings to rise in fame feel to it, alongside Neuberger’s ode to showtunes and old Broadway. It's a story so often told, but the detailed writing style keeps you on track and interested. Eleanor is portrayed a formidable, natural singer in New York from Wisconsin on audition. Mannheim introduces the musical of this book’s title to her and chooses her as the lead female ro A Tender Thing by Emily Neuberger is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late April. There's a very salt-of-earth, humble beginnings to rise in fame feel to it, alongside Neuberger’s ode to showtunes and old Broadway. It's a story so often told, but the detailed writing style keeps you on track and interested. Eleanor is portrayed a formidable, natural singer in New York from Wisconsin on audition. Mannheim introduces the musical of this book’s title to her and chooses her as the lead female role of an interracial couple, so she's challenged and asked to make tough decisions in and outside of the play, separating love from admiration, admiration from envy.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Susan Straley

    I received a complimentary copy of this Audiobook and was surprised and how much I enjoyed it. The author provided the narration with such a professional performance that I never would have guessed it was the author reading it. The story is of a young woman from rural Wisconsin that runs off to New York to make it on Broadway. Who doesn't love a dreamer? The setting of the story is during a time preceding the Civil Rights marches of the 60's adding historical education and context to an entertain I received a complimentary copy of this Audiobook and was surprised and how much I enjoyed it. The author provided the narration with such a professional performance that I never would have guessed it was the author reading it. The story is of a young woman from rural Wisconsin that runs off to New York to make it on Broadway. Who doesn't love a dreamer? The setting of the story is during a time preceding the Civil Rights marches of the 60's adding historical education and context to an entertaining story.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Annarella

    An entertaining and well written story that kept me hooked till the end. I loved the well thought cast of characters, the vivid and well researched setting and the plot that kept me hooked. I look forward to reading other books by this author. Strongly recommended. Many thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for this ARC, all opinions are mine.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Juliann

    The characters were really brought to life in this debut novel. While it was set in the 50's, it resonates very loudly and clearly now. While there were times that the details were a bit laborious, this was a great book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Shannon Dyer

    Five stars feels so inadequate for this book. It’s deep, lovely, poignant, and thrilling. Rarely has a book moved me in quite this way!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Leila Jaafari

    A girl with hopes of making it big on Broadway, gets her big shot with her favorite songwriter. But is it actually all she wanted? Eleanor goes on a journey of self discovery against the backdrop of 1959 New York City. Thought provoking and quietly introspective at the same time.

  27. 4 out of 5

    TL

    " I won this via goodreads giveaways. All my opinions are my own:) ----

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sonja

    Started off well, dragged to the end. Nothing special here.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    A great story. The ending fell a little flat. 4/5 stars.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Carol Fuller

    Clearly the author loves musical theater and can imagine people so wrapped up but I can't.

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