Wednesday, December 30, 2009
The Spanish Bow - Andromeda Romano Lax
I had this book on my list now for a couple of months now and had heard some great things about it from reading other bloggers reviews. This book is historical fiction that revolves around music and the world wars.
Amazon.com says “Feliu Delargo, an underprivileged child prodigy whose musical ability brings him into contact with world leaders, first-class artists and a life filled with loss and triumph. Their father killed in Cuba just before the Spanish-American War, Feliu, his three brothers and one sister manage a meager life in Campo Seco, a small Catalan town, while their strong-willed mother fends off suitors. At 14, Feliu and his mother travel to Barcelona, where a cello tutor agrees to take on Feliu as a student. Over the years, as Feliu establishes himself, he crosses path with Justo Al-Cerra, an egotistical, manipulative pianist, and their touring leads to an intertwining of lives that becomes more complicated when they encounter Aviva, a violinist with her own emotional damage. As the trio tour and Europe careens toward WWII, Romano-Lax weaves into the narrative historical figures from Spanish royalty to Franco and Hitler, giving Feliu the opportunity to ponder the roles of morality in art and art in politics.”
I found this book a bit hard to get into. Perhaps it was the music aspect of it that I found a bit tedious or it could have been that I did not relate to any of the characters in the novel. Usually I really enjoy reading books set in the late 1800’s/early 1900’s and I was surprised that I found this book a struggle. I did love the beginning of the novel that describes Feliu’s birth and how his name was changed from Feliz (as his mother had wanted). The book seemed to fall a bit flat for me after that and I found myself often looking at the pages I had left, wishing I was closer to the end. I hate when I have this feeling around books that I am initially excited for. I think that if I was a lover of classical music I would have found this book more appealing as it is based on somewhat true events. The description of Feliu’s love of music is wonderful and made me wish I had a passion that intense. Well maybe I do – books!