A gripping and beautifully written novel that brings to mind Elizabeth is Missing and the work of Elizabeth Harrower.
'I have no use for forgiveness, not yet. But other ideas like that,
kindness, for example, I think that is fundamental. Resurrection;
I like that too. And love, of course, love, love, love.'
Alice Murray learns to play the piano aged three on an orange orchard in rural Australia. Recognising her daughter's gift, her mother sends Alice to boarding school in the bleak north of England, and there Alice stays for the rest of her childhood. Then she's offered a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London, and on a summer school in Oxford she meets Edward, an economics professor who sweeps her off her feet.
Alice soon finds that Edwards is damaged, and she's trapped. She clings to her playing and to her dream of becoming a concert pianist, until disaster strikes. Increasingly isolated as the years unravel, eventually Alice can't find it in herself to carry on. Then she hears the most beautiful music from the walls of her house .
This novel's love story is that of a woman who must embrace life again if she is to survive. Inspiring and compelling, it explores the dark terrain of violence and the transformative powers of music and love.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
An iBooks Best of 2016 pick. Melbourne author Zoë Morrison’s first love was music, and she approaches her debut novel with the lightness of touch, depth of emotion and perfect precision of the concert pianists she writes about. We were intrigued by heroine Alice Murray from the moment she first appeared, “dressed in nightclothes and layers of old bedding”. Conjuring moments of aching grief, desperate hope and delight, Music and Freedom heralds an impressive new talent—and gives us one of the most captivating and eccentric characters of recent Australian fiction.