WHETHER she’s writing about life during the Restoration, family dramas in the south of France or the plight of eastern European immigrants, Rose Tremain is a consummate storyteller.
At the core of her finely crafted tales are seemingly unremarkable characters whose inner lives throw a subtle light on the way human beings think and feel.
In The Gustav Sonata, two boys forge a lifelong friendship in post-war Switzerland.
They’re very different.
Gustav spends his harsh childhood trying to win the love of his emotionally stunted mother.
Talented musician Anton is the much-loved only child of a Jewish family.
The counterpoint to their evolving relationship is the history of Switzerland’s conduct during World War Two.
There are few great dramas here, just a moving study of human emotions that’s full of compassion for even its most unappealing characters.
The Gustav Sonata Rose Tremain Chatto & Windus, €21.50; ebook, €12.65
Chatto & Windus, €21.50; ebook, €12.65
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