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The Spanish Bow

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The Spanish Bow Cover

ISBN13: 9780151015429
ISBN10: 0151015422
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

I was almost born Happy.

Literally, Feliz was the Spanish name my mother wanted for me. Not a family name, not a local name, just a hope, stated in the farthest-reaching language she knew — a language that once reached around the world, to the Netherlands, Africa, the Americas, the Philippines. Only music has reached farther and penetrated more deeply.

In a dusty, turn-of-the-century Catalan village, the bequest of a cello bow sets young Feliu Delargo on the unlikely path of becoming a musician. Anarchist Barcelona and the court of the embattled monarchy in Madrid teach him his first serious lessons in creativity, principle, and passion — and their consequences. When he meets up with the charming and eccentric piano prodigy Justo Al-Cerraz, their lifelong friendship and rivalry orchestrate a tumultuous course for them both. Over the span of half a century of creative struggle and international turmoil that sees them paying house calls on Picasso one year and being courted by dictators the next, they make glorious music together, and clash over virtually everything else: love, politics, and the purpose of art. When the tensions propelling a war-torn world toward catastrophe bring Aviva, an Italian violinist with a haunted past, into their lives, Feliu and Justo embark upon their final and most dangerous collaboration.

Review:

"'In her impressive debut, Romano-Lax creates the epic story of Feliu Delargo, an underprivileged child prodigy whose musical ability brings him into contact with world leaders, first-class artists and a life filled with loss and triumph. Their father killed in Cuba just before the Spanish-American War, Feliu, his three brothers and one sister manage a meager life in Campo Seco, a small Catalan town, while their strong-willed mother fends off suitors. At 14, Feliu and his mother travel to Barcelona, where a cello tutor agrees to take on Feliu as a student. Over the years, as Feliu establishes himself, he crosses path with Justo Al-Cerra, an egotistical, manipulative pianist, and their touring leads to an intertwining of lives that becomes more complicated when they encounter Aviva, a violinist with her own emotional damage. As the trio tour and Europe careens toward WWII, Romano-Lax weaves into the narrative historical figures from Spanish royalty to Franco and Hitler, giving Feliu the opportunity to ponder the roles of morality in art and art in politics. Though the story has much heart and depth, Feliu's proximity to so many watershed moments of the 20th century can make him feel more like an instructive icon than a person. But for sheer scope and ambition, this is a tough debut to beat. (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Although Andromeda Romano-Lax calls her first novel 'a collage,' it reminds me more of a haunted house where holograms of famous figures walk through walls and sit down beside amazed tourists. Her hero, Feliu Delargo, was born in a Catalan village in 1892 (his name would have been Feliz — Happy — if the local notary had not been a poor speller). In his life as a renowned cellist, he encounters Pablo... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Romano-Lax makes an impressive and richly atmospheric debut." New York Times

Review:

"Time and setting, character and plot come together in this exceptionally appealing first novel about a master cellist and his complicated relationship with the country of his birth and the poisoned times in which he performs." Library Journal

Review:

"This riveting historical page-turner moves inexorably toward a heartrending crescendo." Booklist

Synopsis:

"I was almost born Happy." So begins The Spanish Bow and the remarkable history of Feliu Delargo, who just misses being "Feliz" by a misunderstanding at his birth, which he barely survives.

The accidental bequest of a cello bow from his dead father sets Feliu on the course of becoming a musician, unlikely given his beginnings in a dusty village in Catalonia. When he is compelled to flee to anarchist Barcelona, his education in music, life, and politics begins. But it isnt until he arrives at the court of the embattled monarchy in Madrid that passion enters the composition with Aviva, a virtuoso violinist with a haunted past. As Feliu embarks on affairs, friendships, and rivalries, forces propelling the world toward a catastrophic crescendo sweep Feliu along in their wake.

The Spanish Bow is a haunting fugue of music, politics, and passion set against half a century of Spanish history, from the tail end of the nineteenth century up through the Spanish Civil War and World War II.

Synopsis:

Debut fiction by a journalist and amateur cellist. In a dusty, turn-of-the-century Catalan village, the bequest of a cello bow sets young Feliu Delargo on the unlikely path of becoming a musician.

About the Author

Andromeda Romano-Lax has been a journalist, a travel writer, and a serious amateur cellist. The Spanish Bow is her first novel. She lives in Anchorage, Alaska, with her family.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Timothy Powell, February 6, 2008 (view all comments by Timothy Powell)
Great books can be doorways to another time and place. The Spanish Bow is just such a book. A vivid and engrossing portrait of Spain and an acute study of relationships.
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(4 of 6 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780151015429
Author:
Romano-Lax, Andromeda
Publisher:
Mariner Books
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Musicians
Subject:
Madrid (spain)
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade Cloth
Publication Date:
20080908
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Pages:
560
Dimensions:
9 x 6 in 1.73 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Spanish Bow Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 560 pages Harcourt - English 9780151015429 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "'In her impressive debut, Romano-Lax creates the epic story of Feliu Delargo, an underprivileged child prodigy whose musical ability brings him into contact with world leaders, first-class artists and a life filled with loss and triumph. Their father killed in Cuba just before the Spanish-American War, Feliu, his three brothers and one sister manage a meager life in Campo Seco, a small Catalan town, while their strong-willed mother fends off suitors. At 14, Feliu and his mother travel to Barcelona, where a cello tutor agrees to take on Feliu as a student. Over the years, as Feliu establishes himself, he crosses path with Justo Al-Cerra, an egotistical, manipulative pianist, and their touring leads to an intertwining of lives that becomes more complicated when they encounter Aviva, a violinist with her own emotional damage. As the trio tour and Europe careens toward WWII, Romano-Lax weaves into the narrative historical figures from Spanish royalty to Franco and Hitler, giving Feliu the opportunity to ponder the roles of morality in art and art in politics. Though the story has much heart and depth, Feliu's proximity to so many watershed moments of the 20th century can make him feel more like an instructive icon than a person. But for sheer scope and ambition, this is a tough debut to beat. (Sept.)' Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "Romano-Lax makes an impressive and richly atmospheric debut."
"Review" by , "Time and setting, character and plot come together in this exceptionally appealing first novel about a master cellist and his complicated relationship with the country of his birth and the poisoned times in which he performs."
"Review" by , "This riveting historical page-turner moves inexorably toward a heartrending crescendo."
"Synopsis" by ,
"I was almost born Happy." So begins The Spanish Bow and the remarkable history of Feliu Delargo, who just misses being "Feliz" by a misunderstanding at his birth, which he barely survives.

The accidental bequest of a cello bow from his dead father sets Feliu on the course of becoming a musician, unlikely given his beginnings in a dusty village in Catalonia. When he is compelled to flee to anarchist Barcelona, his education in music, life, and politics begins. But it isnt until he arrives at the court of the embattled monarchy in Madrid that passion enters the composition with Aviva, a virtuoso violinist with a haunted past. As Feliu embarks on affairs, friendships, and rivalries, forces propelling the world toward a catastrophic crescendo sweep Feliu along in their wake.

The Spanish Bow is a haunting fugue of music, politics, and passion set against half a century of Spanish history, from the tail end of the nineteenth century up through the Spanish Civil War and World War II.

"Synopsis" by , Debut fiction by a journalist and amateur cellist. In a dusty, turn-of-the-century Catalan village, the bequest of a cello bow sets young Feliu Delargo on the unlikely path of becoming a musician.
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