(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Midnight Hour Encores, Brooks's second novel, follows Sibilance T. Spooner, world-class cellist, with the cockiness and sarcasm to match, on a cross-country journey across the United States with her father. She has finally, after sixteen years, asked to meet Connie, the mother she has never known. The underlying motivation of the trip from Washington, D.C., to San Francisco, however, may be to solve the mystery of the Tartar cellist Dzyga who disappeared from the music world at a young age for daring to displease the Soviet establishment. He may be waiting for her in San Francisco.

To prepare Sib for her meeting with her mother and to try to explain why her mother refused to raise her, Sib's father Taxi (Cabot Spooner) tries to recreate the mood and attitude of her parents' life in the 1960s by finding a VW bus with a soul (and a mind of its own) and by stocking up on Procul Harem and Buffalo Springfield records.

A variety of surprises greet Sib in San Francisco. Her mother is a wealthy businesswoman and not a self-absorbed macrame artist, Sib finds romance with an attractive young architect, she finally encounters the mysterious Dzyga during an audition for a prestigious conservatory, and, most importantly, she rediscovers her father, the source of her energy and creativity. Sib must choose from among the four people competing for her loyalties and who represent conflicting sides of her personality—Connie, Taxi, Martin, and Dzyga. In...

(The entire section is 281 words.)