1970s Weston-Super-Mare, England and ten-year-old oddball Eustace, an only child, has life transformed by his mother’s quixotic decision to sign him up for cello lessons. Music-making brings release for a boy who is discovering he is an emotional volcano. He laps up lessons from his young teacher, not noticing how her brand of glamour is casting a damaging spell over his frustrated and controlling mother.
When he is enrolled in holiday courses in the Scottish borders, lessons in love, rejection and humility are added to daily practice.
Drawing in part on his own boyhood, Patrick Gale’s new novel explores a collision between childish hero worship and extremely messy adult love lives. A compassionate, compelling novel of boyhood, coming of age, and the confusions of desire and reality.
About the Author
Patrick Gale was born on the Isle of Wight. His most recent works are A Perfectly Good Man, the Richard and Judy bestseller Notes From An Exhibition, and the Costa-shortlisted A Place Called Winter. His original BBC television drama, Man In An Orange Shirt, premiered in 2017.
A beautifully written and evocative coming of age story shaped by music, sexuality and a rich sense of place. Waterford City & County Libraries, Ireland
A beautifully written novel told with Patrick Gale’s eye for rich characterisation and carefully observed detail. Eustace is stuck in a confined space for 24 hours receiving treatment for thyroid cancer, and has chosen his mp3 player loaded with cello music to get him through the isolation. Patrick Gale has written a novel that brings to life the pleasure of music and the pain for those who want to dedicate themselves to playing an instrument but cannot reach the heights of inspiration required for a professional career. The novel carefully weaves this love of music into the coming of age story of Eustace. Growing up, Eustace realises that he is attracted to other boys: feeling trapped by the confines of his narrow life in Weston-Super-Mare, he finds an escape in his growing love of music. Nottingham City Libraries, England