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gertrude

October 2017

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Trio



Trio is a gentle, elegiac meditation on grief, carved into the bleak, rugged moorland of Northumberland … A book to be read carefully and savoured.’ (Clare Morrall)

Cornflower said she hadn’t ‘read a work of fiction as good as this for quite some time.’ and wrote a review of it which I can’t better. Mrs Miniver’s Daughter was awake all night reading it. Now I’ll join in and say, Read this book! I started it one evening and finished it the next, although I was enjoying it so much I didn’t want it to end. It’s beautifully written and draws the reader in from the start. The descriptions of landscape, weather and wildlife are as good as you'd find in a book dedicated to the subject, yet here it’s just background. I loved the school scenes, almost William Mayne-like in their believability. Above all, I loved the musical theme, including the hymns sung at school, which were strangely touching. If any of the pieces played by the eponymous trio are unfamiliar, you want to hear them now, so as to understand the powerful effect they have on the characters. Music is central to the characters’ lives and as we learn later, love of it is handed down through generations.

I suppose this book would be classed as ‘middlebrow’. Huh. So-called literary authors could learn a lot about the craft of writing from reading this wonderful book. Now I have to seek out everything else Sue Gee has written.
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Comments

I read a couple of her books a few years ago, and I loved them. I think that Thin Air was one, and Keeping Secrets another. I didn't think, when I was given the first, that I would like it as much as I did, but I was captivated.
I knew I was late to the party!
I think that bopeepsheep gave me the first one. Definitely recommended.
I love a book that you don't want to end and there's almost an aching disappointment when it does. You make this one sound wonderful and worth a punt :)
It is! I'd happily read it again now.
Hurrah! So glad you loved it!
I agree with your point about literary authors learning from the likes of this book, and yes, music is such an important element of the novel that it does pay to listen to the pieces if you can.
Thanks for the recommendation!
Oh, that does sound like a good one! And I see that she has a number of others as well.
I simply loved it. One of those books you feel you're living inside.

(Anonymous)

Trio

I read it on the recommendation of Cornflower and thought it exceptional. Deeply moving and beautifully written - I read the last chapter so slowly as couldn't bear the experience to end. I also enjoyed her early novel "Letters from Prague" many years ago, and have loved her ever since, and yet sadly she seems to receive little critical attention.

Re: Trio

Extraordinary, isn't it, that such a good writer can be so neglected. That's modern publishing for you, I'm afraid. Too much interest in prizes.
Sounds good! When/if my library acquires a print copy I'll check it out. My library has three other titles of hers, but they have much lower ratings on Goodreads than this one has.
Oh, do try it. I'm not on Goodreads so I don't see those reviews.