The Gustav Sonata

by admin on February 25, 2019

The reason I’m writing this in green is to express my envy of Rose Tremain’s novel THE GUSTAV SONATA.  

Strange how some writers hover on the periphery of your awareness but never quite come centre stage. Rose Tremain is someone whose name I’ve known but never read anything by her. I sort of vaguely thought she wrote historical romance novels. Not a genre that appeals to me.

On a friend’s insistence I decided to try one. TRESPASS was what she recommended so off I went to my local library and searched for it. Not available but THE GUSTAV SONATA was. The back cover and the first three pages are all excerpts of reviews – rave reviews, from heavy hitters like Ian McEwan, Salman Rushdie, The Guardian, New York Times, Jane Smiley, Washington Post and on and on. Not to mention the numerous awards like the Orange Prize, Whitbread Novel of the Year, shortlisted for the Booker...blah, blah, blah – (back to green again).

The Irish Times goes so far as to refer to her as ‘the great Rose Tremain’.  How embarassing for her I thought… well, that’s the Irish for you. But no, the accolade is right on. This is about as far from a bodice ripper as you can get. A fine novel worthy of anyone’s time. Loved it to the last unexpected but inevitable twist in the ending. I won’t spoil it by trying to summarise it for you.

Needless to say I’m a convert and have now got TRESPASS and MERIVEL, and seen the film of RESTORATION. I could write lots more but want to get back to TRESPASS.

And as if that weren’t enough, judging by the flyleaf photo, she’s drop dead gorgeous…

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: