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Rough Music Paperback – 14 May 2009
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'Like the sea he describes so well, Patrick Gale's clear, unforced prose sucks one in effortlessly … he is excellent at the telling detail and description' Elizabeth Buchan, Daily Mail
'There are no false notes in this book' Marie Claire
'An astute, sensitive and at times tragically uncomfortable meditation on sex, lies and family…. a fabulously unnerving book… a hugely compelling writer' Independent on Sunday
'It would be churlish to divulge more of the plot, suffice to say that it is as ingenious in design as it is generous in spirit' Sunday Express
From the Inside Flap
Beautifully written and deeply compassionate, Rough Music is a novel of one family at two defining points in time. Seamlessly alternating between the present day and a summer thirty years past, its twin stories unfold at a cottage along the eastern coast of England.
Will Pagett receives an unexpected gift on his fortieth birthday, two weeks at a perfect beach house in Cornwall. Seeking some distance from the married man with whom he's having an affair, he invites his aging mother and father to share his holiday, knowing the sun and sea will be a welcome change for. But the cottage and the stretch of sand before it seem somehow familiar and memories of a summer long ago begin to surface.
Thirty-two years earlier. A young married couple and their eight year-old son begin two idyllic weeks at a beach house in Cornwall. But the sudden arrival of unknown American relatives has devastating consequences, turning what was to be a moment of reconciliation into an act of betrayal that will cast a lengthy shadow.
As Patrick Gale masterfully unspools these parallel stories, we see their subtle and surprising reflections in each other and discover how the forgotten dramas of childhood are reenacted throughout our lives.
Deftly navigating the terrain between humor and tragedy, Patrick Gale has written an unforgettable novel about the lies that adults tell and the small acts of treason that children can commit. Rough Music gracefully illuminates the merciful tricks of memory and the courage with which we continue to assert our belief in love and happiness.
"From the Hardcover edition. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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Patrick Gale, who, like his character Julian, is the son of a prison governor and who, again like Julian, attended a cathedral school as a chorister, has written a convincing and compassionate story which is both beautifully written and compelling to read. I have read several of Mr Gale's novels and I'm always impressed by his perceptive powers of observation, of his psychological insight and of his assured handling of his material. His characters are convincingly drawn whether they have a large or small part to play in the story, and although, in this particular novel, I would have liked to have learnt more about Frances's past life, all of the characters were interesting to read about and Frances's illness, and John's care of Frances, was very sympathetically and poignantly portrayed. And with Julian, despite being aware that in allowing the affair with his married lover to continue, he was not behaving well, I could not help but find myself caring about what happened to him and hoping that he would find happiness. All in all, a thoughtful and very engaging story, which was made all the more enjoyable by listening to the Audible download version which is ably narrated by the author himself - and one I shall definitely listen to again.
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