A “riveting historical page-turner” about a cellist caught up in the tumult and passions of early twentieth-century Spain (Booklist).
A Library Journal Best Book of the Year
I was almost born Happy . . .
So begins The Spanish Bow and the remarkable history of Feliu Delargo, who just misses being “Feliz” by a misunderstanding at his birth—which he barely survives.
The bequest of a cello bow sets Feliu on the course of becoming a musician, an unlikely destiny given his beginnings in a dusty village in Catalonia. When he is compelled to flee to anarchist Barcelona, his education in music, life, and politics begins. But it isn’t until he arrives at the court of the embattled monarchy in Madrid that passion enters the composition, thanks to Aviva, a virtuoso violinist with a haunted past.
As Feliu embarks on affairs, friendships, and rivalries, forces propelling the world toward a catastrophic crescendo sweep Feliu along in their wake—in this haunting fugue of music, politics, and passion set against a half century of Spanish history, from the tail end of the nineteenth century through the Spanish Civil War and World War II, by the acclaimed author of Behave and Plum Rains.
“Expertly woven throughout the book are cameo appearances by Pablo Picasso, Adolf Hitler, Francisco Franco, Bertolt Brecht, and others, but it is the fictional Feliu, Justo, and Aviva who will keep you mesmerized to the last page.” —The Christian Science Monitor
“An impressive and richly atmospheric debut.” —The New York Times Book Review