Tremain, Rose "The Gustav Sonata" - 2016
This is my second book by this author. I have read "Music and Silence" before which was about Denmark in the 17th century. This one is about Switzerland in the 20th. Well, one boy in particular. He is born shortly before the end of WWII and we see him growing up without his father who dies shortly after his death, with a mother who is bitter without her son knowing why. He finds out after many years.
This is a nice story about friendship that survives everything - love, betrayal, life and death. Short and easy read.
From the back cover:
"Gustav Perle grows up in a small town in Switzerland, where the horrors of the Second World War seem only a distant echo. An only child, he lives alone with Emilie, the mother he adores but who treats him with bitter severity. He begins an intense friendship with a Jewish boy his age, talented and mercurial Anton Zwiebel, a budding concert pianist. The novel follows Gustav’s family, tracing the roots of his mother’s anti-Semitism and its impact on her son and his beloved friend.
Moving backward to the war years and the painful repercussions of an act of conscience, and forward through the lives and careers of Gustav and Anton, The Gustav Sonata explores the passionate love of childhood friendship as it's lost, transformed, and regained over a lifetime. It's a powerful and deeply moving addition to the beloved oeuvre of one of our greatest contemporary novelists."