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The Gustav Sonata
Publication year: 2016
Publisher: Chatto & Windus, 2016
Resource type: Physical
ISBN: 1784740039 9781784740030
Gustav Perle grows up in a small town in 'neutral' Switzerland, where the horrors of the Second World War seem a distant echo. But Gustav's father has mysteriously died, and his mother Emilie is strangely cold and indifferent to him. As time goes on, an intense friendship with a boy of his own age, Anton Zwiebel, begins to define Gustav's life.
The report of Milebush book group: We all enjoyed this book which expanded our understanding of the consequences of Switzerland's neutrality in WW2 and provoked a good discussion. It is engaging and sad, arousing emotion and pity for the main character Gustav with themes of friendship, expectation and isolation. Unrequited love appears in many of the different relationships that occur in the story. The three part non-linear narrative structure is effective in helping to explain how these things came to happen. Generally recommended.
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