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Saturday, 21 February 2015

Jo Jo Moyes - Night Music

This audio book review was written by Ro Bennet and read live by her on the bookshow 19th Feb 2015.

This is another book by Jo Jo Moyes which I really enjoyed. I discovered that I can download audio books from the library so I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to this book as I potter around the house and do chores. I can even listen when I’m gardening! 

The only problem I have found with downloading these audio books its that the choice is limited. I have put in loads of suggestions and well known authors to no avail. A couple of the books I downloaded I deleted almost immediately. One because I found it too stupid for words and the other because the narrator’s voice irritated me to distraction. 

At the moment I am listening to the unabridged version of Wolf Hall and the Narrator, Simon Slater,  is excellent. There is a little icon where you can see what other books the narrator has read which is an excellent idea - except I have never heard of the book they mention in this case.  BUT you can listen to a preview, which is also an excellent idea. 

So, back to Night Music - as usual the characters are well drawn. I really disliked some of them and absolutely loved others. 

The book begins with downtrodden Laura Mc Carthy taking some food to Mr Pottisworth, a thoroughly unpleasant, nasty old man. She’s been taking care of him for 9 years, in the expectation that he will leave his home - called The Spanish House to her and her husband Matt when he dies. Matt who is another unpleasant character, is obsessed with the prospect of owning this house which he considers his due. He is constantly planning how he will renovate it. 

Meanwhile Isabel Delancey, a professional violinist and recently bereaved widow is living in London with her children, 16 year old Kitty and 9 year old Thierry. Paralysed by grief, and shock after husband’s fatal car crash, she has not been coping well and has neglected household affairs. She is shocked when she is informed by the solicitor that her finances are in a dire state. The reader finds out the reason for this during the course of the book. 

Then she discovers that she has inherited The Spanish House because a distant relative has died intestate. So the family is uprooted and move from the city to this house which is in a dreadful state of repair, in the middle of nowhere, with limited funds. Along comes Matt who offers to renovate it with the help of Byron Firth a local odd job man - and at a cost. 
Of course Matt, a ruthless man,  has his own agenda and has not given up hope of eventually owning The Spanish House by fair means or foul. 

There is a lot of suspense, my heart was sinking as I could see this poor woman floundering out of her depth, depleting her finances and resources  and her children struggling to cope in an alien situation and location while quietly being undermined by someone they were trusting. Of course Isabel also met with disapproval because as a musician she was rather unorthodox for many of the villagers who lived nearby.  

There are interesting twists and turns and unexpected heart warming incidents, so it wasn’t all gloom and doom. Kitty fortunately is more practical and down to earth than her mother and is a likeable character. Thierry has been mute since his father’s accident and in due course the reader discovers the reason for this. 

It was an interesting book, an easy read and a page turner which kept me engaged. I found myself really rooting for the family and hoping that there would be a happy outcome. I would definitely recommend it. 

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