Former leading New Zealand publisher and bookseller, and widely experienced judge of both the Commonwealth Writers Prize and the Montana New Zealand Book Awards, talks about what he is currently reading, what impresses him and what doesn't, along with chat about the international English language book scene, and links to sites of interest to booklovers.
Saturday, June 11, 2016
The Gustav Sonata -heartbreaking new novel from Rose Tremain
The heartbreaking new novel from the bestselling author of The Road
Home: a story of betrayal, the struggle for happiness and the healing power
Gustav Perle grows up in a small town in Switzerland, where the horrors
of the Second World War seem distant. He adores his mother but she treats him
with bitter severity, disapproving especially of his intense friendship with
Anton, the Jewish boy at school. A gifted pianist, Anton is tortured by stage
fright; only in secret games with Gustav does his imagination thrive. But
Gustav is taught that he must develop a hard shell, ‘like a coconut’, to
protect the softness inside – just like the hard shell perfected by his
country, to protect its neutrality.
But despite this hard shell, nothing in Gustav’s life can be called
neutral. Older, and increasingly curious about his absent father, Gustav
discovers the traces of an erotic love affair – traces which still glow
white-hot even now.
Fierce, astringent, profoundly tender – and spanning the twentieth
century – Rose Tremain’s beautifully orchestrated novel explores the big themes
of betrayal and the struggle for happiness, and above all, the passionate love
of a childhood friendship as it is tested over a lifetime.
About the author:
ROSE TREMAIN’S bestselling novels have been published in thirty
countries and have won many awards, including the Orange Prize (The Road
Home), the Whitbread Novel of the Year (Music & Silence) and the
James Tait Black Memorial Prize (Sacred Country); Restoration was
shortlisted for the Booker Prize. Rose Tremain was made a CBE in 2007 and was
appointed Chancellor of the University of East Anglia in 2013.
She lives in Norfolk and London with the biographer, Richard Holmes.