The TBS Book Club will be meeting on Sunday, June 10,  10:30 AM at the home of David & Rebecca Friedman, 12 Rutherford St. St. James NY 11780

RSVP to the Friedmans at: (631)862-8092. or email at:

This month's selection is "The Gustav Sonata" by Rose Tremain


The Gustav Sonata

Gustav PerlThe Gustav Sonatae 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 Gustav and Anton, The Gustav Sonata explores the passionate love of childhood friendship as it's lost, transformed, and regained over a lifetime. It's a powerful and deeply moving addition to the beloved oeuvre of one of our greatest contemporary novelists.
Tremain’s answer to the complexity, the variations, the unknowable elements in her story is to build the narrative like music: a sonata in three parts, set in different times. She lays out themes, she develops them, she repeats them until they sing a rather different song. A sonata is usually allegro, so for all the density of detail there’s a cracking sense of pace, and the themes themselves are as haunting and sharply contrasted as they should be — love and lovelessness, heroism and banality, vision and narrowness.


About the Author

Rose Tremain

Rose Tremain, born in London in 1943, was one of only five women writers to be included in Granta’s original list of 20 Best of Young British Novelists in 1983. Her novels and short stories have been published worldwide in 27 countries and have won many prizes, including the Sunday Express book of the Year Award (for Restoration, also shortlisted for the Booker Prize); the Prix Femina Etranger, France (for Sacred Country); the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award (for Music & Silence) and the Orange Prize for Fiction 2008 (for The Road Home). Restoration was filmed in 1995 and a stage version was produced in 2009. Her latest novel is the acclaimed The Gustav Sonata which sees Rose ‘writing at the height of her inimitable powers’

She lives in Norfolk and London with the biographer Richard Holmes.



Thu, May 24 2018 10 Sivan 5778