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Songs of Blue and Gold

4.3 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: ISIS Audio Books (1 April 2009)
  • ISBN-10: 0753143054
  • ISBN-13: 978-0753143056
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Product Description

Review

"Evocative and beautifully written" --This text refers to the Digital Download edition.

Book Description

A timeless love story set in a lush, richly imagined Corfu, Songs of Blue and Gold is the gorgeous new novel by the author of The Art of Falling. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
When you live here year-round on Corfu, it's easy to overlook the island's captivating beauty as well as the interesting and notable people who once resided here. A day in front of the computer overshadows the millions of olive trees with glinting silver leaves. A dreaded trip to the dentist in Corfu Town eclipes the flowers, exploding like fireworks in all shapes and colours. Everyday routines triumph the sea, as smooth as a dish of honey, dotted with boats, swimmers and, perhaps, underwater secrets. A white house built on the shore overlooking Kalami Bay becomes just another house - not the former residence of poet, novelist, traveller and iconoclast Lawrence Durrell.

Songs of Blue and Gold by Deborah Lawrenson brought the best of Corfu back me. This is the story about two women: Melissa, an unhappily married archivist, and her mother Elizabeth, who on her death bed presents her daughter with a startling and mysterious key to her past: a copy of Collected Poems by Julian Adie, Lawrenson's fictional version of Lawrence Durrell. On the title page an inscription by the author reads: 'To Elizabeth, always remembering Corfu, what could have been and what we must both forget.'

So begins Melissa's journey from England to Corfu to the South of France in search of her mother's past relationship with Adie as well as an internal exploration of her own unhappy personal life. Structurally complex, the novel moves from Melissa's investigations to passages of Elizabeth's time spent on Corfu with Julian Adie to fictional biography book excerpts detailing Adie's many lives and loves. A timeless character who seduces all those around him both in life and after death, Adie acts as a bridge between Elizabeth's past and Melissa's present.
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Format: Paperback
Louise Piper's Review
title: A sensuous literary mystery

Just occasionally you pick up a book on a whim and find hidden treasure. This is one of those. "Infused with the spirit of Lawrence Durrell" and set in one of his magical places, Kalami in Corfu, the novel begins with an inscription in a book. It is essentially a book about a life in books, but what comes out of it is an inspiring and moving novel about love and loss, the tricks and twists of memory, and the unreliability of biography.

The inscription is to Melissa's mother Elizabeth, whose memory is all but gone; the words are written by the womanising poet and novelist Julian Adie (loosely based on Durrell), and hint at a romantic relationship that Melissa knew nothing about. Weighed down by grief and her own husband's affair, Melissa travels to Corfu to blot out the present by delving further into her mother and Adie's shared past. What she begins to find is profoundly disconcerting.

Anyone who knows Lawrence Durrell's work will find many of his themes subtly reworked, starting with Prospero's Cell. (Although it really is not necessary even to have heard of him to enjoy this, as it is a compelling and psychologically acute story in its own right.) The places where he lived and wrote about are beautifully recreated, and the landscape given a shimmer of sensuous lyrical magic that is truly transporting especially in the pages featuring Adie and Elizabeth.

Romance and intrigue are enhanced by rather than sacrificed to the main theme, which addresses the pitfalls of biography.
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By Lincs Reader TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 9 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback
Songs of Blue and Gold is a wonderfully evocative story, an advantage for me was that I read it in Corfu, so the settings and the descriptions of this beautiful island were even more realistic.

The story revolves around Melissa. Melissa is in her 30s and her life seems to be heading nowhere. Her mother Elizabeth recently died after suffering from dementia for some time. Elizabeth gave Melissa a book just before she died, from the inscription it is clear that she had spent time on Corfu in the early 60s. Melissa knew nothing about this and is drawn to discover more about her mother's secret life.
Melissa arrives on Corfu and tries to find out more about the mysterious author who obviously knew Elizabeth intimately.

Lawrenson describes the lush and beautiful island of Corfu perfectly, from the beaches, the plants and most especially the people. The friendliness, the nosiness, the generosity and the secrecy of the small village - all are beautifully drawn.

This is an engaging story, written so beautifully.
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Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed this book - it was a great read and the descriptions of the coast in Corfu allowed me to forget I was in gloomy Britain.

This is the story of Melissa, who goes to Greece in search of her mother's secret relationship with Adie. The way she also finds out about herself whilst reading Adie's biography keeps the pages turning. I particularly liked the past/present format and the way the author examines identity and uncertainty.

Julian Adie, the central character, is loosely based on Lawrence Durrell and I'm now inspired to read some of his books too. Highly recommended.
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