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Friday, November 28, 2014

Chamber Music by Doris Grumbach

This was sent to me by Netgalley courtesy of the publisher Open Road Integrated Media.

Caroline is ninety and looks back on her life, especially her married life with a world famous music composer. Very matter of fact and written starkly the emotional feel of Caroline's feelings come through very strongly without the gushing sentiment.

Robert is a clever man but with many eccentricities that the naive Caroline as a young woman cannot see and does not understand till very much later. She adopts an attitude of servitude to him, giving in to his needs, his orders and most importantly his way of life. Everything seems subject to this.

Caroline goes from a sheltered childhood to this life as a wife - a wife more in name than in anything else. Her passionate feelings only surface with the finding of a companion who comes in as a nurse when Robert is dying and this relationship is the only bright spark in her life. Caroline comes to life during this phase of her life story and the contrast of this short period as against her previous life seems so bright and vivid as against the dullness of all that goes before.

A bit slow at the beginning this is a story you have to persevere at, the rewards of reading this is right at the end.

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