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Books in brief: “The Gustav Sonata” by Rose Tremain

"The story takes the pair from school to the compromises and acceptances of late middle-age"

By Ian Irvine   August 2016

cover.jpg.rendition.460.707The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain (Chatto & Windus, £16.99)

The best thing about this book is the sex; the worst thing is the music. At the centre of this novella is the relationship between two boys, Gustav and Anton, who meet at school in early 1950s Switzerland when they are both 10 years old. Gustav is an only child, being brought up by a single mother in reduced circumstances in a provincial Swiss town. His life is not unhappy; he adores his mother, but she is unloving and constantly depressed by…

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