[PDF/EBOOK] The Gustav Sonata AUTHOR Rose Tremain – Kindle ePUB & PDF

characters The Gustav Sonata

D and mercurial Anton Zweibel a budding concert pianist The novel follows Gustav’s family tracing the roots of his mother’s anti Semitism and its impact on her son and his beloved friend Moving backward to the war years and the painful repercussions of an act of conscience and forwa This is only the third novel by Rose Tremain that I ve read but I m already tempted to add her name to my short list of favorite writers One of the things that I most admire about her as an author is her chameleon like ability to change her colors with every novel she writes She never repeats herself but she always has a great story to tell and she always tells it well I think my favorite of the three I ve read so far is still Trespass a modern Gothic set in a crumbling manor in the French countryside but this one is a close second Like a piano sonata The Gustav Sonata is cleverly composed in three sections with different key shifts and recurring motifs eg cherry trees in flower geraniums a purple lipstick silkworms the name Hans a tambourine The first section is set just after the end of WWII and introduces the major spine of the story a lifelong friendship between two boys named Gustav and Anton that begins on their first day of kindergarten In this section the reader immediately starts noticing some things that seem off What s up with Gustav s widowed mother Emilie Why is she so cold toward Gustav Why doesn t she like his new friend What happened to Gustav s father Erich Was he a war hero Why does Emilie insist on training Gustav to master his emotions and be neutral like Switzerland Just as these uestions start piling up Tremain ends her first movement and begins her next Like a change in musical keys her presentation of the story also shifts here from past to present tense In this second section Tremain leaves the story of young Gustav and Anton and goes back to the lead up to WWII to tell Emilie and Erich s story I usually don t like this sort of chopping up of a story and moving backward and forward in time but Tremain does it very well and never confuses her readers Some major uestions are answered but not all We start to learn why things are the way they are in the first section but some uestions are still left for the last section In the final third the story jumps forward to the 1990 s and shifts key again to the past tense Gustav and Anton are now middle aged and the reader understands the psychology of the characters As the novel builds towards its climax Gustav seems not just neutral but almost zombie like and sexually neutered His mother is dying his hotel business seems to be failing and his lifelong friendship with Anton is disappearing maybe permanently All has grown grim and filled with despair but the storytelling itself never becomes maudlin Tremain seems to know a thing or two about self restraint herself As a result I was positive I d make it to the end without getting even the slightest bit misty eyed And I almost did But then there was that unexpected ending and oh man She totally did me in with those last dozen paragraphs WARNING May induce nightmares in former piano students with PRSD Post Recital Stress Disorder 45 stars

free download ☆ E-book, or Kindle E-pub ç Rose Tremain

The Gustav Sonata

Rd through the lives and careers of Gustav and Anton The Gustav Sonata explores the passionate love of childhood friendship as it's lost transformed and regained over a lifetime It's a powerful and deeply moving addition to the beloved oeuvre of one of our greatest contemporary novelist This is a really beautiful and fragile story about Gustav and Anton who become best friends as five year olds It s a story about their friendship but it s also a story about the twists and turns life can take and how your destiny can change when you choose the wrong path I loved how this book takes place in Switzerland and for the most part during the cold autumnal and wintry months It added to the cold and reflective atmosphere that is prevalent throughout this novel The first part in which we get to meet Gustav and learn about his growing friendship with Anton was the strongest in my eyes We then go back in time to learn about Gustav s parents which was a very important part but not as special The ending of the book was enchanting yet heart breaking and Rose Tremain makes sure to wrap up their two lives beautifully over the span of only 240 pagesOverall I don t think I ve ever read a book uite like this before Its ambiance and its themes were something special and I definitely recommend it

Rose Tremain ç 9 review

Gustav Perle grows up in a small town in Switzerland where the horrors of the Second World War seem only a distant echo An only child he lives alone with Emilie the mother he adores but who treats him with bitter severity He begins an intense friendship with a Jewish boy his age talente He thought that if he had been some other boy he would have begun crying or at least whimpering by now but he wasn t he was Gustav Perle He was going to master himself for the sake of his Mutti for the sake of his dead father for the sake of Anton who cried too often for the sake of a few beautiful things in the world like the sun on a balcony in Davos Gustav was 5 years old at the start of this novel He was pooroften cold hungry He lived with his mother Emilie in Mitteland Switzerland On hands and knees he helped his mother clean the grating of the Church of Sankt Johann when he wasn t in school He was a sweet gentle compassionate child He showed empathy toward his unhappy mother who was harsh and had a cold edge to her It was almost as if Gustav was loving his Mutti for two people holding the responsibility himself that somewhere deep inside her she loved him too Gustav s best friend was Anton Zwiebel They met in Kindergarten Anton s family was Jewish and he was the only child Anton s father was a banker so their family came from a much higher economic bracket His parents Adrianna and Armin had a wonderful marriage always a harmony between them and were aware of Gustav s loyalty of friendship to their son Antoneven when Anton didn t demonstrate the same type of friendship back In a way again Gustav held himself responsible for trusting deep down his friend Anton loved him alsoin the same way he held his mother Gustav was such a peacemaker and at peace with himselfit s as if EVERY expression his mother best friend were expressions of love regardless of theirself centeredness He didn t need to measure their behavior by his own experience He chose love and goodness It s how he saw the world Anton studied pianoa talented child prodigy who struggled with live performances These struggles carry over to every area of his life We can feel Anton s anger disappointment we can almost hear it through his music Anton counted on Gustav to be there for him when he wanted him or needed a friend Most of the time Gustav allowed it This novel is divided into three sections1 early childhood years of Gustav and Anton2 Emilie and Erich their relationship marriage and the loss of their first sonand its this section where we see the position Switzerland took during the war They were not letting Jewish refugees into the countrymany were being turned away Too much fear of German invasion if they did 3 Gustav and Anton into their 50 s and 60 s we learn about how their lives turned out limitations failed expectations and Gustav s closeness with Adrianna and Lottie A UOTE FROM THE MIDDLE SECTION referring to Erich Perle Gustav s father whom Gustav never metWouldn t other men even other policeman have been moved to falsify documents to break the law to save a man who had done nothing wrong Surely Erich s crime is rendered neutral by saving of souls Isn t it Erich was moved He was weakened by his compassion for a man his own age with a son named Daniel And surely one date falsification would never have been detected But the stack of false dates is going to come to light one way or another Erich now understands that he s put his career even his life in jeopardy Erich does loose his job as police officer He wishes to teach history to children give them an understanding of why their country Switzerland teach them why it must cling to neutrality Schools don t want to hire him Four schools turned Erich away because they didn t want a disgraced police officer with a trial pending working with children Fear of German invasion was always a daily fear so Erich knew minds were made up he d never get to teach He ends up with a night shift job to supervise cleaning and maintenance at the tram depot with scant wages He has also taken a loverLottie Erdman his friend s wife Which later gets complicated when Emilie comes back A LITTLE MORE ABOUT EMILIEGustav s motherMore and Emilie dreams of Charlie Chaplin and the palm lined boulevards of Hollywood far away where the war could never ever reach Emilie wonders how much she can endure living with her mother Irma She feels so much sorrow and bitterness She has lost a sonand blames Erich and the Jews In Emilie s eyes she lost everything because of the Jews Yet Emilie learned unhappiness from her mother at a young girl herself I think in many ways I felt most sorry for Emilie in this novel Sure she was a mean old crank but she lived with chronic daily suffering She smelled like stinky cheese from when she worked in the cheese factory her breath often smelled of aniseed and she was constantly drinking something She worried about money forced to take a second job at the Church on Saturdays scrubbing Her only happiness seems to be in a few good memories of the past and a few dreams into the future Reality not so pleasant ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSEWhew OKnow to REALLY LET GO and express myself I LOVED THIS NOVEL It s close to PERFECT Rose Tremain WOW I m a new fan I love the depth the layers there is soooo much to discuss in this novel I love the way you wrote itThe characters the contrast of the characters the value of what we learn from each one each of their strengths and their weaknesses This novel is hits on three levels our heartour headand our gut All three of these levels together make this book very special Absolutely wonderfulA MUST READThank You Netgalley WW Norton Company and Rose Tremain


10 thoughts on “The Gustav Sonata

  1. says:

    Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel From Beginning to BookendGustav Perle lives with his mother in a small town in Switzerland While the horrors of the Second World War are still a distant echo Gustav makes the acuaintance of a little Jewish boy named Anton Zwiebel initiating a friendship that is not supported by Gustav's openly anti Semitic mother but nevertheless lasts a lifetime T

  2. says:

    A beautifully written albeit melancholy story about the friendship of two men who first met when they were young

  3. says:

    He thought that if he had been some other boy he would have begun crying or at least whimpering by now but he w

  4. says:

    The Gustav SonataWhat I most appreciate about The Gustav Sonata is how Rose Tremain tells a story that is at times cruel and morally complex and accomplishes this with surprising clarity and elegant simplicity This is a novel about relationship

  5. says:

    This is only the third novel by Rose Tremain that I’ve read but I’m already tempted to add her name to my short list of favorite writers One of the things that I most admire about her as an author is her chameleon like ability to change h

  6. says:

    The predominant theme of this novel is the containment of strong emotion Whenever someone attempts to make his or her feelings known disappointment seems the inevitable conseuence Fitting then that it is set in a small town

  7. says:

    A tale of Friendship and Love that fell short for me as I felt it lacked a sense of time and place and the story was unconvincing for me What is the difference between friendship and Love A stroy of two boys growing up in a a small town in Swi

  8. says:

    This one was uite different from what I expected but in a good way The Gustav Sonata is told from three different perspectives Part one where Gustav is a small child and he meets his life long friend Anton But he learns some life lessons during this time that stick with him Being alone surviving at 10 years old Part two goes back in time wher

  9. says:

    This is a really beautiful and fragile story about Gustav and Anton who become best friends as five year olds It's a story about their friendship but it's also a story about the twists and turns life can take and how your destiny can change when you choose the wrong path I loved how this book takes place in Switzerland and for the most part during the cold autumnal and wintry months It added to the cold and r

  10. says:

    This is not a World War II novel Some of it is set during World War II but that isn't what the book is about I'm