The Gustav Sonata

The Gustav Sonata

Book - 2016
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Gustav Perle grows up in a small town in Switzerland, where the horrors of the Second World War seem only a distant echo. An only child, he lives alone with Emilie, the mother he adores but who treats him with bitter severity. He begins an intense friendship with a Jewish boy his age, talented and mercurial Anton Zweibel, a budding concert pianist. The novel follows Gustav's family, tracing the roots of his mother's anti-Semitism and its impact on her son and his beloved friend. Moving backward to the war years and the painful repercussions of an act of conscience, and forward through the lives and careers of the two men, one who becomes a hotel owner, the other a concert pianist, The Gustav Sonata explores the passionate love of childhood friendship as it is lost, transformed, and regained over a lifetime. It is a powerful and deeply moving addition to the beloved oeuvre of one of our greatest contemporary novelists.
Publisher: New York :, W.W. Norton & Company,, 2016.
Edition: First American edition.
ISBN: 9780393246698
Branch Call Number: FICTION Tremain Rose 09/2016
Characteristics: 240 pages ;,25 cm


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Jun 21, 2017

Simple but engaging style; interesting story. A rare, for me at least, view of a small town in wartime Switzerland. I found the natural presentation of not unusual but still interesting characters fascinating.

Mar 20, 2017

A very beautiful book that has stayed with me months later.

Dec 22, 2016

Had to check the inside flap to make sure I was not reading a young adult's book. Thin plot and characters. Too simplistic. Did not finish and would not recommend.

Dec 19, 2016

Like a sonata, this novel about the complexities of friendship moves backward and forward in time. Subtle. Tremain writes with a soft sensibility.

Nov 05, 2016

The story line of Gustav and his friend Anton spans time. We experience how relationships are effected by Hitler's Germany on those who took refuge in Switzerland and the police officer that protected them. The author takes us into the families of the main characters and the relationships that interconnect one another - most of all Gustav and Anton and their struggles with identity.


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