Wednesday, 7 November 2018

Love is Blind by William Boyd

Reviewer: Barbara Scott Emmett – author of Delirium: The Rimbaud Delusion, The Man with the Horn and other books

What We Thought: Brodie Moncur has perfect pitch. Son of the bullying Rev Malcom Moncur and protege of Lady Dalcastle, Brodie works for Edinburgh piano manufacturers, Channons. He is a gifted piano tuner and man of ideas. When, at the age of 24, he is offered the position of Assistant Manager of the Paris branch he accepts with only a few trepidations.

In the late 1890s Paris has many attractions for a young man but when he meets the Russian soprano Lydia Blum, his life is changed forever. Lika, as she is known, is the mistress of fading star pianist John Kilbarron. Kilbarron's thuggish brother Malachi keeps a suspicious eye on them all. Of course, Brodie and Lika begin an affair and after a series of disastrous events involving a stolen melody and a duel, are forced to flee and live under assumed names. Constantly fearful that Malachi is on their trail they move from place to place until Lika can take no more.

This is a beautifully written novel full of hints of Chekov – both his life and literature. Jimmy Joyce also makes a brief appearance and there are no doubt other references for the reader to discover and feel clever about. The nature of obsession and the randomness of life and love are portrayed through fully realised characters against a variety of backgrounds, both European and more exotic.

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher with no obligation to either read or review.

You’ll Enjoy This If You Loved:
Other William Boyd books, Sebastian Faulks.

Avoid If You Dislike: Stories of obsessive love.

Perfect Accompaniment: Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No 2.

Genre: Literary/Historical/General Fiction

Available on Amazon

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