Shortly after the fall of the Berlin wall three American girls living with their families on a military base in Germany save the life of a Russian soldier and then travel with him to Paris where they perform in a music competition. Second Fiddle is the story of their friendship, their efforts to be independent of cautious parents and their desire to make music together as a classical trio.
The novel is rich with details of the Paris setting and with information about music instruction and competition. That the girls struggle to solve problems without help from parents or other adults speaks to a universal side of adolescence. While the plot is far-fetched and the solution to problems seems too tidy to be real, this is a good story of friendship,its risk and rewards. Suspense, danger and the three different personalities of the friends combine to make this a gripping story. The author’s earlier book, Heart of a Shepherd, also dealt with a youngster assuming responsibility for work beyond his years.