Fiction Rose Tremain Music & Silence

ISBN 13: 9780099268550

Music & Silence

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9780099268550: Music & Silence

A bold new novel from the author of Restoration and The Way I Found Her

In the year 1629, a young English lutenist named Peter Claire arrives at the Danish court to join King Christian IV's royal orchestra. From the moment when he realizes that the musicians have to perform in a freezing cellar underneath the royal apartments, he understands that he's come to a place where the opposing states of light and dark, good and evil, are waging war to the death. Designated the king's "Angel" because of his good looks, he finds himself falling in love with the young woman who is the companion of the king's adulterous and estranged wife, Kirsten. With his loyalties fatally divided, how will Peter Claire find the path that will realize his hopes and save his soul?

With a sure, alchemical touch and the narrative finesse that always turns her histories into a kind of magic, Rose Tremain has fashioned a rich, provocative historical romance as pungent as Denmark's salty air. This is a tale of opposites: light and darkness, tenderness and violence, music and silence.

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Review:

Rose Tremain deserves a hallelujah chorus dedicated to her alone. A decade after the appearance of Restoration, with its superb evocation of the British baroque, comes her glorious and enthralling Music and Silence. Like the earlier novel, this one is a treasure house of delights--as haunting as it is pleasurable and teeming with real and imagined characters, intrigues, searches, and betrayals. The vivid scenes loop in and out, back and forth, like overlapping and repeated chords in a single, delicious composition.

The year is 1629, and King Christian IV of Denmark is living in a limbo of fear for his life and rage over his country's ruin, not to mention his wife's not-so-secret adultery. He consoles himself with impossible dreams and with music, the latter performed by his royal orchestra in a freezing cellar while he listens in his cozy chamber directly above. Music, he hopes, will create the sublime order he craves. The queen, meanwhile, detests nothing more. The duty of assuaging the king's miseries falls to his absurdly handsome English lutenist, Peter Claire, who resigns himself to his (so to speak) underground success:

They begin. It seems to Peter Claire as if they are playing only for themselves, as if this is a rehearsal for some future performance in a grand, lighted room. He has to keep reminding himself that the music is being carried, as breath is carried through the body of a wind instrument, through the twisted pipes, and emerging clear and sharp in the Vinterstue, where King Christian is eating his breakfast.... He strives, as always, for perfection and, because he is playing and listening with such fierce concentration, doesn't notice the cold in the cellar as he thought he would, and his fingers feel nimble and supple.
Other stories, each of them full of fabulous invention, intertwine with these musical machinations. There is the tale of the king's mother, who hoards her gold in secret; the tormenting memory of his boyhood friend, Bror; and the romance between Peter Claire and the queen's downtrodden maid, Emilia. And while the author paid meticulous mind to her period settings, her take on desire and longing has a very modern intensity to it, as if an ancient score were being performed on a contemporary (and surpassingly elegant) instrument. --Ruth Petrie

About the Author:

Music & Silence is Rose Tremain's eighth novel. Her previous work has been short-listed for the Booker Prize and has won the Prix Femina Etranger and the Sunday Express Book of the Year Award.

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the author of The Gustav Sonata Winner of the Whitbread Novel Award In the year 1629, a young English lutenist named Peter Claire arrives at the Danish Court to join King Christian IV s Royal Orchestra. From the moment when he realises that the musicians perform in a freezing cellar underneath the royal apartments, Peter Claire understands that he s come to a place where the opposing states of light and dark, good and evil, are waging war to the death. Designated the King s Angel because of his good looks, he finds himself falling in love with the young woman who is the companion of the King s adulterous and estranged wife, Kirsten. With his loyalties fatally divided between duty and passion, how can Peter Claire find the path that will realise his hopes and save his soul? Over a million Rose Tremain books sold `A writer of exceptional talent . Tremain is a writer who understands every emotion Independent I `There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain Irish Times `Tremain has the painterly genius of an Old Master, and she uses it to stunning effect The Times `Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists Salman Rushdie `Tremain is a writer of exemplary vision and particularity. The fictional world is rendered with extraordinary vividness Marcel Theroux, Guardian. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099268550

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Book Description Vintage Publishing, United Kingdom, 2010. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. From the author of The Gustav Sonata Winner of the Whitbread Novel Award In the year 1629, a young English lutenist named Peter Claire arrives at the Danish Court to join King Christian IV s Royal Orchestra. From the moment when he realises that the musicians perform in a freezing cellar underneath the royal apartments, Peter Claire understands that he s come to a place where the opposing states of light and dark, good and evil, are waging war to the death. Designated the King s Angel because of his good looks, he finds himself falling in love with the young woman who is the companion of the King s adulterous and estranged wife, Kirsten. With his loyalties fatally divided between duty and passion, how can Peter Claire find the path that will realise his hopes and save his soul? Over a million Rose Tremain books sold `A writer of exceptional talent . Tremain is a writer who understands every emotion Independent I `There are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain Irish Times `Tremain has the painterly genius of an Old Master, and she uses it to stunning effect The Times `Rose Tremain is one of the very finest British novelists Salman Rushdie `Tremain is a writer of exemplary vision and particularity. The fictional world is rendered with extraordinary vividness Marcel Theroux, Guardian. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099268550

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