3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
An elegant novel of illicit love,
This review is from: Sextet (Paperback)
Sextet is Judy Jackson’s second novel, after The Camel Trail (2007), this one being wholly fictional. It is a story of illicit love, its drastic consequences and the coming to terms by each of the parties involved (mainly the four but ultimately six).
The secrecy and risks of the central affair provide electrical potential which powers the narrative and keeps the pages turning. The plot is elegantly designed as a triptique: the drastic events followed first by their antecedents and later by their subsequent working out.
The principal character is a concert pianist and his work provides a certain musical background to the story (unheard melodies are sweeter). Besides piano music, the plot takes us into the worlds of hotel bedroom art, Italian families and, in expert and feeling detail, the birth of extremely premature babies.
Judy Jackson writes with pleasing clarity and economy. She moves easily between the viewpoints of different characters, acutely conveying their reactions and states of mind through successive stages of the affair. The feel of background scenery (including various European cities) comes across with the well-spotted telling detail. Food is well observed, as one would expect from this author. With its many unexpected facets, the book is an enjoyable read.
The physical book is better than average quality for a contemporary novel, and one infers from the acknowledgements that talented members of the author’s family had a hand in the production. The paper is good quality, the typeface and layout a comfortable read and the product nice to handle – book-pleasures which the Kindle reader will miss.