Monday, 18 October 2010

Aussie Author Review No 5 - Lovesong, by Alex Miller

Aussie Author Book Review: Lovesong, by Alex Miller
Time for another Aussie Author Review. Today my rave is about the great Aussie author, Alex Miller. I must admit I read my first Miller novel only a few months ago, loved it, then was pleased to find that Miller has written many more novels. Excellent.


She said nothing to his earnestness, his desire to impress her with his belief, his urgent need to acknowledge between them a binding commitment. She was thrilled to hear it on his lips. But it was too much. It was too soon. It weighted her down. She wanted to hear it and she didn’t want to hear it. What she wanted was to laugh with him. To run and play and hide with him, the way children play and hide and tease each other.

This story is at once exotic and homely, telling of the sweetness of love and the sometimes awful cost of it.

Sabiha is content working in their small Tunisian cafe in Paris, serving their regular clientele of North African immigrant workers. But when an Australian tourist, John, stumbles upon the cafe, her world begins to change. Soon deeply in love, the pair are married and John becomes part of Sabiha’s world. All that will complete their happiness is for Sabhia to bear the child she has always known she will have. But when the child does not come, a tragic series of events unfolds.

In Australia several years later, an aging writer, Ken, meets the couple and their young daughter at the cafe they open in Carlton. Ken is intrigued by the family, and especially by the sorrow he sees in Sabiha’s eyes, and is drawn into their story when John seeks him out as a confidante.

Lovesong is a beautiful story of love, loss and passion. Interwoven with Sabiha and John’s story are glimpses of Ken’s story, past and present. With its vigorous undercurrents of melodrama, its tides of sentiment, it certainly approaches the condition of song, perhaps of opera. At its core is one darkly gorgeous woman's inner music, her private pain. It is no ordinary love story but, in a most rewarding way, it is a conventional novel, a genre traditionally rooted in the struggle between desire and constraint .As the title suggests, the story is a smooth as one of the songs which Sahiba sings to her customers, carrying readers through the years and twists of the story and leaving them thinking long after the final note is sung.

"A magical tale ... A classical shape and tenor, like a de Maupassant tale fleshed out. And an interesting ending, making the author so deeply complicitous. A little flick like a master calligrapher makes when they lift the brush after a perfect, single stroke." —David Brooks

Romance and desire, longing and solitariness, transience and creativity – Alex Miller does it so well.


Well worth adding to your reading list.

Have a good week,
Click on the 'roo for more Aussie reviews.


The Words Crafter said...

This sounds like a great read, you totally had me hooked!

I figured out how to buddy up, btw. Now, I got to think of what to write, yikes!

Denise Covey said...

The Words Crafter: it is a great book. Glad you've buddied up. Now to get to planning...

Ruth Cox aka abitosunshine said...

Great revew! Sounds like a good read.

Denise Covey said...

abitosunshine: Yep, it is..:)

The Words Crafter said...

I did it-linked and put my NaNo name on....hope your buddy glitch goes away, that'd be really frustrating! And you're still on my list....

The Words Crafter said...
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