Eustace grew up in “hell’s antechamber” – a ramshackle retirement home run by his parents in a sleepy seaside town. He escapes this dreariness when he’s sent to cello lessons and discovers the beauty in life. Now, as he battles illness, Eustace recalls the life-changing friendships, burgeoning (often disastrous) loves and the ever present music that has led him to this point. This enthralling story is pure enjoyment from start to finish. To say I loved this book would be an understatement!
- Recommended by Mary Burnham, Dubray Dun Laoghaire
From the bestselling author of A PLACE CALLED WINTER comes a new novel of boyhood, coming of age, and the confusions of desire and reality. For all readers of Ian McEwan's ATONEMENT or L P Hartley's THE GO-BETWEEN.
1970s Western-Super-Mare and ten-year-old oddball Eustace, an only child, has life transformed by his mother's quixotic decision to sign him up for cello lessons. Music-making brings release for a boy who is discovering he is an emotional volcano. He laps up lessons from his young teacher, not noticing how her brand of glamour is casting a damaging spell over his frustrated and controlling mother.
When he is enrolled in holiday courses in the Scottish borders, lessons in love, rejection and humility are added to daily practice.
Drawing in part on his own boyhood, Patrick Gale's new novel explores a collision between childish hero worship and extremely messy adult love lives.