A beautifully written novel with great emotional appeal, of family secrets and wartime heritage, set in Cornwall, London and Warsaw. The house and the cottage overlooking the sea, on the corner of the big estate, was home to three generations of the Tremain family. Fred Tremain, the country doctor who - with his wife, Martha, for whose sake he had become estranged from his family - came first to this beloved corner of England: Anna, the difficult, determined older child, now a highly successful solicitor; and Barnaby, the easy-going second child, now a vicar to the parish: and the beloved granddaughter, Lucy. It is she whose discoveries of family papers, hidden in the old cottage, brings to light the first of the wartime secrets and begins the process of questioning so many old fears and hatreds, and unlocking the way to new relationships and new loves. Sara Macdonald has created a wonderful range of characters, depicted with great tenderness and understanding, against a background of the human price paid for the upheavals caused by prejudice, violence and wars today and yesterday. A wonderful novel for all the fans of Anita Shreve, Niall Williams and Rosamund Pilcher.
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(178mm x 111mm x 35mm)
HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Spanning four generations, Sea Music weaves a tale of love, loss and difficult healing. Moving from Nazi Poland to modern-day Cornwall, Sara Macdonald shows how history affects individuals and families, and looks at family ties and the corrosive nature of family secrets. Anna Tremain is the difficult daughter of Fred and Martha Tremain. Anna's own daughter, Lucy, finds documents from the 1940s which explain the awkward relationship between Anna and Martha, and mothers and daughters journey towards reconciliation against the tide of the past. Whilst her plotting is superb, it is Macdonald's characters who are most compelling. Although many of her characters are wounded, she refuses to present them as victims. This is the key to the novel's huge emotional appeal: even Martha, haunted by Auschwitz, transcends the past's brutality. At the same time, Macdonald avoids triteness; she portrays Martha as an Alzheimer's sufferer whose muddled recall means that not every mystery can be solved. Reflecting Martha's condition, the novel is structured through bright flashes of recall. The frequent shifts from past to present make this a fast-moving narrative. The Tremain history mesmerises as it unfolds, and Macdonald steadily feeds us the truth, however uncomfortable that truth may be. Macdonald's evocation of both Cornwall and Nazi Poland is adept. While Cornwall is peaceful and verdant, the Warsaw ghettos are utterly bleak. She describes the horrors of the death camps with sharp-edged realism but also a huge respect for those who suffered there. The modern-day story takes place against the background of the latest conflict in Kosovo, where Lucy's boyfriend goes to work for the UN. Macdonald's message is understated yet poignant: she asks us how ethnic loathing can be allowed to persist after Nazism. In Sea Music she shows how one family heals its wounds and begins to forgive. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Sara MacDonald
Sara Macdonald has written all her life. She has been an army wife, living all over the world, and now lives in Cornwall.