I like English settings especially those of the countryside. It may seem idyllic and a fantasy but I like to imagine that scenes like this still exist in pastoral Britain.
The story told in the present and past dovetail beautifully, almost seamingless as they blend the past and take us into the present. Both stories are relevant and one depends on the other. Three brothers a very stern father and a crumbling mansion of a house. This forms the backdrop and the past. Going forward we have a single brother surviving in the house surprisingly (I thought the house would have crumbled and decayed), but the heir to the house is very far away in Florida. The split between the brothers was over a girl - naturally - and now we have come to a stage when the two brothers are elderly men almost at the end of their days.
Fast forward to the present and Harry is despondent, sad and empty. He has lost his wife Edie and is totally bereft. Help comes in the form of a four year old grandson who has obviously inherited his talent for music, not just talent but is a prodigy whose talent goes far beyond Harry and who becomes the spark that would ignite Harry to want to even live.
The family background rich in detail post WW and descriptive of an English countryside coupled with the interests and peculiarities of each brother especially Harry's aptitude and interest in song collecting which forms the main backbone of the story makes this book such a good read. Characterization was excellent and the family structure and the relationships which develop, break and re emerge are told wonderfully.
This was a book that could not be put down. I finished it in one go. Sad when it was over and especially sad because I do not know when I will get to another book by this author!
Sent to me by Netgalley for an unbiased review courtesy of Hodder & Stoughton.