The Gustav Sonata

The Gustav Sonata

Summary

What is the difference between friendship and love?

Gustav grows up in a small town in Switzerland, where the horrors of the Second World War seem a distant echo. But Gustav's father has mysteriously died, and his adored mother Emilie is strangely cold and indifferent to him. Gustav's life is a lonely one until he meets Anton. An intense lifelong friendship develops but Anton fails to understand how deeply and irrevocably his life and Gustav's are entwined until it is almost too late...

'A perfect novel about life's imperfection... Tremain is writing at the height of her inimitable powers...' Kate Kellaway, Observer

'Heartbreaking, unsentimental and beautifully written, and it reinforces my opinion that there are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain.' John Boyne, The Irish Times

Reviews

  • This is a perfect novel about life's imperfection... Tremain is writing at the height of her inimitable powers... Remarkable and moving novel.
    Kate Kellaway, Observer

About the author

Rose Tremain

Rose Tremain's novels and short stories have been published in thirty countries and have won many awards, including the Orange Prize (The Road Home), the Dylan Thomas Award (The Colonel's Daughter and Other Stories), the Whitbread Novel of the Year (Music & Silence) and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize (Sacred Country) and the South Bank Sky Arts Award (The Gustav Sonata). Her most recent novel is Islands of Mercy. Rose Tremain was made a CBE in 2007 and a Dame in 2020. She lives in Norfolk and London with the biographer, Richard Holmes.
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