The Gustav Sonata
- 8,99 €
- 8,99 €
'A perfect novel about life's imperfection... Tremain is writing at the height of her inimitable powers...' Kate Kellaway, Observer
What is the difference between friendship and love?
Gustav grows up in a small town in Switzerland, where the horrors of the Second World War seem a distant echo.
But Gustav's father has mysteriously died, and his adored mother Emilie is strangely cold and indifferent to him. Gustav's life is a lonely one until he meets Anton.
An intense lifelong friendship develops but Anton fails to understand how deeply and irrevocably his life and Gustav's are entwined until it is almost too late...
'Heartbreaking, unsentimental and beautifully written, and it reinforces my opinion that there are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain.' John Boyne, The Irish Times
Tremain's (The American Lover) melancholic latest centers on the lifelong friendship between Gustav Perle and Anton Zweibel. The book begins in 1947 Switzerland with Gustav and his mother, Emilie, a selfish woman whom Gustav loves in spite of her inability to nurture him. He never knew his father, only that he died in the war. When Anton arrives at Gustav's kindergarten, and Gustav invites him home, Emilie says, "But of course he is a Jew... The Jews are the people your father died trying to save." Anton is a talented but nervous child whose well-to-do parents encourage his desire to become a concert pianist. The boys are inseparable, sharing many sweet moments that Tremain beautifully crafts. Like a sonata, the book is divided into three parts. The second section goes back in time to the war following Gustav's parents' tragic marriage and the unraveling that hardened Emilie's heart. In the last section, Gustav has become a lonely but successful middle-aged hotelier in his Swiss hometown. Anton, after years of teaching music, tries to rekindle his career as a pianist, with disastrous personal results. The great strength of Tremain's writing is her brilliant, uncanny ability to capture the interior life of a child and to celebrate the triumphs of the many older characters populating the final, redemptive portion of the novel as they "become the people always should have been."