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on 19 January 2010
I got given 'Night Music' for Christmas, and after surprisingly enjoying both 'Foreign Fruit' and 'The Peacock Emporium' knew I wouldn't be disappointed by this book.

'Night Music' centres around the dilapidated 'Spanish House' in a tiny village where everyone knows everyone elses business. Builder Matt and his wife Laura have been coveting the house for years and when the elderly owner dies, they think they're in for a shot of inheriting it. They're in for a rude awakening.

In the entwining narrative Isabel Delancey, a violinist with a city orchestra, has just lost her husband in a car crash and he's left her with mounting bills and no way of paying them. Imagine her surprise when she finds out a long lost relative has left her The Spanish House... Isabel immediately moves there with her two children for a new start, not realising the disasterous wreck she's inherited. And so begins a story of intrigue and deceit- as it becomes clear just what a hold the Spanish House has in the tiny village.

This was truly a great read. It not only has drama and tension but a nice dash of romance too. Like all of Moyes other books, you quickly become involved in the characters lives and situations. I read it whilst commuting to work over a couple of days, but alternatively I think it would make a good holiday book.
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on 31 July 2008
Night Music is utterly `unputdownable'. Jojo Moyes immediately intrigues and involves us in the lives of the characters of Night Music and the circumstances that we find them in. This is confidently sustained as the plot twists and turns towards and away from our expectations.

Despite its charming setting, there is a vulgarity to `Spanish House' with it's `Moorish, Georgian, Victorian gothic' façade: Architecture that reflects the rather vulgar attempts of generations of occupants to impose their aspirations and assume superior status within the village. This is what Matt needed the house for, but as the events of Night Music reminds us, we should assume nothing in life.

The new owners of `Spanish House' are different: different needs and ambitions, which reveal different vulnerabilities and strengths. The house is no longer needed as a symbol of status, affirming a sense of self or worth. Unexpected events demand a reassessment of what is important in (and for) life, and `Spanish House' becomes a valuable space for learning to live.

Night Music is not a story of `goodies and baddies'. Rather, Moyes gently `unpicks' a tapestry of lives that make up the picture of `Spanish House'. She lets us see the complexity of making choices and decisions, particularly when one seems, to all intents and purposes, to be a victim of circumstances. Moreover, we see how in these choices - whether they are made knowingly or unknowingly - there are consequences that often stretch beyond our imaginations. It is in how the characters depicted in Night Music deal with the consequences associated with their lives that makes them all so very human.

Throughout Night Music, Moyes sustains great pace because of a subtle complexity that feels very `real' - as the reader you have to keep turning the pages because whilst you think you might know what is going to happen next, you're never quite sure...
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Jojo Moyes plays her readers like Isabel's violin. Plots dance from drama to crisis to pure everyday happiness. Mind you, `Night Music' may well significantly alter the way you look at that burly builder working in your kitchen, bathroom, quoting for some house repairs...

All the way through I was rooting for recently widowed Isabel to discover the backbone she clearly had, to wake up and smell the coffee. She has to unearth her hidden talents and meet new challenges head on when she finds herself in an unexpectedly precarious position financially. Luckily her fifteen-year old daughter Kitty opens the post and finds a letter that changes their future. An ancient relative has died intestate, leaving them a strange and quirky house in Norfolk, `The Spanish House'. This turn of fate might seem fortunate but events unfold rather differently. Others feel a right to ownership; the old chap who eeked out his last years there had leaned heavily on his neighbours and made promises. Oh dear!

Really dreadful, dramatic and frightening consequences arise from the move. Emotions run high. The locals need facing up to and getting to know. Friendly help comes from unexpected quarters. The children are going through trials of their own, the little family is definitely damaged. A strong silent type steps out of the shadows, a man with a past. He has the skills required to rebuild their lives, but will he be able to rise above his own problems to do so?

A jolly good read, at times rather heart pumping. This could be a very scary tv production. Although the final scene would take some setting up! All ends are tied up neatly which is always a joy.
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on 18 September 2012
I could not wait to start reading this book, i had already finished "Me before you" & "Last letter from your lover", so I knew JoJo Moyes was a brilliant story teller. Unfortunately i didn't think this book was up to the same high standards as the other two stories. The characters didn't grab my attention and the plot at times lacked a bit of oomph & direction. Night music was a light pleasant read but not a page turner. I remain a big fan of this author & look forward to reading more of her books in the future.
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on 15 February 2014
I adore Jojo Moyes. She's written some of my favourites, including Me Before You and The Ship of Brides, to name just two. I was really excited to embark on another novel of hers so was terribly disappointed with this nonsensical work. The main premise is flawed (why would the family have moved, why not sell both and downsize in their preferred location? and that's just for starters) and the characters are like sand in my shoes - irritating, annoying and I couldn't wait to be rid of them. There's a lack of reality/believability and I kept finding myself putting the book down as it was annoying me so much. So much so that I stopped reading about a third of the way through. Oh dear.
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What I really like about Jojo Moyes' books are that they are all so different, she certainly does not write to a formula, each book is very unique.

'Night Music' is a story about 'The Spanish House' - recently inherited by newly widowed Isabel and her two children. The last place they want to be is in an almost derelict house in a close-knit country village. Isabel is a successful violinist who doesn't get her hands dirty, her daughter Kitty is a sensible 15 year old who misses her friends and son Thierry has not spoken since his father was killed in a road accident a year ago.

The family have to get to grips with country living, with having no money, no water, no bathroom and no fridge. They also have to cope with Matt McCarthy - the local builder who was convinced that The Spanish House would be left to him and his wife Laura.

This is a great story of loss, bereavement and obsession. It has quite sinister undertones in places and the character of Matt is especially well created - starting out as the local friendly builder and gradually getting darker and more threatening as the story evolves.

Another triumph from one of my favourite authors.
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on 22 February 2013
As you'd expect from a relatively light read this novel moves quickly and great emphasis is placed upon creating fantastic characters. Whilst Isabel tries to get used to village life readers are introduced to a range of great supporting characters including the Cousins - Asad and Henry, who were my particular favourites. The other main characters including Matt McCarthy and Byron Firth are brilliantly written and set against each other in such a way that the novels intensity is enhanced and made even more enjoyable.

Despite music being central to everything Isabel says, does and thinks I don't feel Moyes manages to write musically in a way which emphasises this enough. It's not a criticism as such as I enjoyed the way the novel was written but I found Isabel's love for music a little difficult to believe. As the novel twists and turns to its climax there are some brilliant unexpected moments and Matt McCarthy becomes a force to be reckoned with and fascinating to watch as he plans his next move.

Really enjoyed this one and will give her others a go
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on 17 August 2012
I loved Me Before You, Ship of Brides and The Horse Dancer; the plot of this book is vague with lots of loose ends and the characters are also vague with lots of loose ends! I didn't feel any of the characters were credible or substantial and the end of the story was far fetched to say the least.
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on 4 August 2013
I love Jojo Moyes' writing - and bought this on the strength of that - but I found this difficult to get into. I read a section, went on to something else, read another section, left it again ... eventually I found there was nothing really encouraging me to continue to read. I don't feel this is as good as her other work. I would certainly recommend 'Me before you' and 'The Girl you left behind' by the same author.
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on 4 June 2016
A brilliantly written story by Jojo Notes.A story about a house and how it possessed a group of people.cleverly written interweaving Matt and Laura,Isobel and her family and Byron stories against the backdrop of a crumbling house.well worth reading.
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