Descrição do produto
Shortlisted for the Costa Novel Award
Winner of the South Bank Sky Arts Award
Longlisted for the Baileys Women's Prize for Fiction
Shortlisted for the Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize
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...
‘This is a perfect novel’ Observer
'The Gustav Sonata is beautifully rendered, and magnificent in its scope. It glows with mastery' Ian McEwan
Gustav Perle grows up in a small town in Switzerland, where the horrors of the Second World War seem distant. He adores his mother but she treats him with bitter severity, disapproving especially of his intense friendship with Anton, the Jewish boy at school. A gifted pianist, Anton is tortured by stage fright; only in secret games with Gustav does his imagination thrive. But Gustav is taught that he must develop a hard shell, 'like a coconut', to protect the softness inside - just like the hard shell perfected by his country, to protect its neutrality.
But despite this hard shell, nothing in Gustav's life can be called neutral. Older, and increasingly curious about his absent father, Gustav discovers the traces of an erotic love affair - traces which still glow white-hot even now.
Fierce, astringent, profoundly tender - and spanning the twentieth century - Rose Tremain's beautifully orchestrated novel explores the big themes of betrayal and the struggle for happiness, and above all, the passionate love of a childhood friendship as it is tested over a lifetime.