“Original, startling and gorgeous. Five generations of extraordinary women grapple with the mystery of inherited trauma in Andrea J. Buchanan’s stunningly original new novel. As gorgeously written as a master's symphony, the story is also so immersive that I became fiercely invested in each indelible character’s changing lives and their struggles with secrets, loves, losses, until love begins to trump calamity. This isn’t just a novel you read: it’s a miracle you live. I loved it.”
– Caroline Leavitt, New York Times bestselling author of With or Without You
"Five-Part Invention, Andrea J. Buchanan’s beautifully perceptive novel, begins with a reckoning. In ways subtle and profound, its wounding legacy has flowed through five generations of women, from Lise to Anna to Pauline to Hope to Zoe...Buchanan has endowed each one with a distinct personality and a life unique in its aspirations. Music provides some connective tissue across the generations, and descriptions of Lise at the piano or of the pieces played are laced with expressive details. Buchanan has employed an effective narrative style for this multigenerational story. The shifting lens offers highly illuminating, and often heartbreaking, views. These are ordinary, not extraordinary people, and the novel has deeper resonance because of this."
– Carol Iaciofano Aucoin, NPR'S WBUR
“Five-Part Invention is a sweeping yet intimate story that follows several generations of exceptional women coping with trauma and persevering despite the odds stacked against them. This debut novel by Andrea Buchanan is absolutely immersive, moving, and captivating from the first page to the last.”
– Laura Sims, author of Looker
"As its title suggests, Five-Part Invention is both complex and inventive, a symphonic exploration of identity, family, secrets, and art, a novel that crescendos like the most soul-stirring music. A piano teacher tells one of the characters, ‘You must have both intention and technique,’ and Andrea J. Buchanan displays both in abundance here. This novel is an epic, ambitious composition, crafted with tremendous beauty and dexterity and heart. A masterpiece."
– Gayle Brandeis, author of Many Restless Concerns
"Buchanan's novel investigates the sacrifices we make to create art--as well as to become ourselves. This is the story of the way mothers create a kind of music in their daughters, and build, through our love, an orchestra of souls. Generous, inspiring, and wise."
– Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She's Not There