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Songs of Triumphant Love [Paperback]

Jessica Duchen
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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Book Description

9 July 2009


While the celebrated opera singer Terri Ivory is in hospital, facing what could be the end of her career, her daughter Julie stumbles upon a long buried secret that forces her to question her past and her place in her mother's affection.


In their cracked and empty house that no longer seems like a home, mother and daughter try to keep their closeness to each other and to the men they love: damaged Teo, whose passion for Terri borders on the self destructive, and Julie's first love Alistair who fails to predict the consequences of his decision to join the army.


When calamity strikes, all four must make vital choices to find their way forward. Can love and music heal when medicine cannot? And are there some secrets that should never be shared?

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Product details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (9 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340933607
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340933602
  • Product Dimensions: 3 x 12.9 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 551,206 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

"Enthralling...Jessica writes with an unpredictable and original voice and a dazzling perceptiveness" JOANNA LUMLEY on SONGS OF TRIUMPHANT LOVE.

Jessica is a versatile wordsmith with a musical bias. Her output includes novels, biographies, plays, words&music projects, poetry for musical setting, music journalism and more. Her writing regularly appears in The Independent, BBC Music Magazine and Opera News, among other publications, and her music blog "JDCMB",, has attracted more than 1.5m readers.

Jessica and her musician colleagues are performing concert versions of her novels HUNGARIAN DANCES and ALICIA'S GIFT through 2013 and her plays respectively about Wagner and Messiaen are due for more performances. Please see EVENTS list below, or visit for full listings.

Her novels focus on the cross-currents between family generations, with music a recurring theme. All are now additionally available in e-book format.

Jessica's biographies of the composers Gabriel Fauré and Erich Wolfgang Korngold for Phaidon's 20th Century Composers series have met with wide acclaim.

Watch an extract from BBC TV's SACRED MUSIC series in which Jessica talks about Fauré's Requiem:

Product Description


'Jessica Duchen writes about families, the arts and their sometimes devastating combination with such skill and passion that her books are unputdownable. It is very rarely that I find a new writer whose work I love so much.' (Katie Fforde)

'Startlingly original book . . . [Duchen's] story is not just a tale of universal human emotion but a symphony to the offbeat melodies of modern life' (Lancaster Evening Post)

'A touching story of family relationships' (Woman)

'This is a very well written study of the problem of being and having a child prodigy . . . it's a gripping read and it's very easy to get caught up in the excitement of wanting Alicia to succeed . . . I enjoyed this book a lot' (Muso on Alicia's Gift)

'Jessica Duchen's debut novel is captivating, imaginative and fascinating . . . The pace builds powerfully to a dramatic and ultimately very moving conclusion. Completely gripping!' (Tasmin Little on Rites of Spring)

'Jessica Duchen demonstrates her skill at weaving a complex study of relationships within a narrative rooted in the classical music world...recommended..' (Classical Music Magazine)

'Jessica Duchen has crafted a riveting drama set within the arts world . . . For fans of Joanna Trollope and Russian composers alike.' (Classic FM Magazine on Rites of Spring)


"...Duchen's novel of music and memory bulges with fruity treats...a saga whose passion for music, Hungary and history sings out on every page" (Boyd Tonkin on 'Hungarian Dances')
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A roller coaster of emotions 28 Aug 2009
Hold on to your hats - this is a whirlwind of a book! A veritable panoply of characters, themes and places, it was hard to imagine how she could possibly bring them all together. But Jessica Duchen is nothing if not the master of her subplots, and all is woven together at the end in an extraordinary manner that plays havoc with your emotions. Her characters are so vividly real that the reader becomes desperate to know what happens to them - certainly this reader did! Duchen's incisive yet hauntingly poetic prose keeps you turning the pages. The story's principal character may be an opera singer, but it is about so, so much more than that. Simply wonderful.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Read 24 Aug 2009
As always, the wonderful Jessica Duchen creates beautifully crafted, real, flawed characters whose lives you really care about. A diary from her Mother's past comes to haunt a teenage daughter and when is a daughter's ex-boyfriend truly ex? How do you ever grieve for a family lost in a war, and how and when is it possible to move on? When your entire life has been defined by your career, and it looks like that career is over, how can you possibly cope? So many plot strands entwine to create a fascinating story that keeps you totally gripped through to the final page. A great read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A skillfully woven tale 30 Aug 2009
In recent months I have given up on books by two well known authors whose new novels have droned along and sent me to sleep with boredom. No chance of that with "Songs of Triumphant Love". A skillfully woven tale whose characters have taught me much.

I'm used to reading Duchen's musical critiques, but this is the first of her novels that I have read. A versatile writer who deserves high praise.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Jessic Duchen's Latest Novel 16 Aug 2009
Jessica Duchen's latest novel, Songs of Triumphant Love, is even better than her last one, Hungarian Dances. This book is a wonderful read. I couldn't it put down. The plotting and characterizations draw one in immediately and one gets truly involved in the lives of the characters right from the start. I really enjoyed reading it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful! 15 Aug 2009
Jessica Duchen has done it again! I have read all her books, and she just gets better all the time. Songs of Triumphant Love is a compelling read, tackling themes of family, war, love and music. The characters are so real, and I felt totally immersed in their individual journeys. Jessica has a way of making you care about her characters, I desperately wanted everyone to be OK, to have their happy endings. Like another reviewer I lost sleep over the book - awake until 3am to finish it!
I can't recommend this book highly enough and have already bought copies for my daughter and a friend.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Un-put-downable 8 July 2009
I lost a huge amount of sleep over this book as I just couldn't put it down - the narrative and the characters both intrigue and delight (even if they are infuriating - on purpose - at times!). Original, captivating and stirring. Highly, highly recommended.
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