Saturday, January 9, 2010
Author: Robin Pilcher
Format: audio 11 discs - 13 hrs (474 pg equivalent)
Characters: Angelique Pascal, Jamie Stratton, Leonard Hartson, Rene Brownlow, Thomas "TK" Keene, Gavin Macintosh, Albert Dessuin
Subject: various characters working through life problems
Setting: Edinburgh "festival"
Source: Public library
It's been quite a while since I read anything by either Rosamunde or Robin Pilcher. I had forgotten how incredibily character dependent their work is. It wasn't until I was half-way through that things started to "happen". I had almost given up by then.
In this story, set against the backdrop of an annual arts festival held in Edinburgh every August, Pilcher presents us with a beatiful and talented young female violin prodigy and her rather unlikeable teacher/manager; an absolutely down on his luck, but if you're a mother you have to hug him, recovering drug addict car thief who only wants to be a movie maker; an elderly retired filmaker called out of retirement to film a Japanese dance troupe performing at the festival; a young recent university grad trying to get his flat cleaned up, repaired and on the market so he can leave Edinburgh in September for his new job in London; a pyrotechnic genius designing and producing his final show (the "starburst") before he retires; a thoroughly delightful standup comic from a pub in the burbs, whose local patrons take up a collection to book her act into the festival; and a young newly-wed assistant to the festival director who is fending off an obnoxious ex-lover and trying to keep everyone happy.
How these people all come together and resolve all their individual issues begins to build in the 2nd half of the book, and doesn't completely finish until the very end. It is a somewhat soupy, sachrine story, in that in the end we don't have a lot of surprises, but it is a well written and gentle read.
Challenge: SYLL, Typically British, Audio