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The Book Club – “The Gustav Sonata” by Rose Tremain
11th April 2018 @ 7:30 pm - 10:00 pm
What is the difference between friendship and love? Or between neutrality and commitment?
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 irrecoverably his life and Gustav’s are entwined until it is almost too late.
Fierce, astringent, profoundly tender, Rose Tremain’s beautifully orchestrated novel asks the question, what does it do to a person, or to a country, to pursue an eternal quest for neutrality and self- mastery while all life’s hopes and passions continually press upon the borders and beat upon the gate.
A magnificent novel, heartbreaking, unsentimental and beautifully written.