Synopses & Reviews
"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 isn't 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.
"Ambition, imagination, and luck are equal components of art and, this book seems to suggest, of political life. By choosing the bow, his father's accidental gift, Feliu opens a 'world of tastes and sensations' far more enduring than the toy of the moment, and Romano-Lax makes an impressive and richly atmospheric debut." The New York Times Book Review
"The Spanish Bow wears its research on its sleeve....The novel also delves into music and art history, from courtly to bourgeois art and from late-romanticism to the avant-garde. Here we see the role of patrons, be they religious, royal or simply rich. Fine period details sketch the contrast between country and city, the backwardness of Madrid, Barcelona on the cusp of modernity and the backroom machinations of palace politics." The Guardian (UK)
"Expertly woven throughout the book are cameo appearances by Pablo Picasso, Adolf Hitler, Francisco Franco, Bertolt Brecht, and others, but it is the fictional Feliu, Justo, and Aviva who will keep you mesmerized to the last page." Christian Science Monitor
The accidental bequest of a cello bow from his dead father sets Feliu on the unlikely course of becoming a musician. When he is compelled to flee to anarchist Barcelona, his education in music, life, and politics begins. But it isn't until he arrives in Madrid that passion enters the composition.
A haunting fugue of music, politics, and passion set against half a century of Spanish history, through the Spanish Civil War and World War II.
In a dusty, turn-of-the-century Catalan village, young Feliu Delargo receives the unexpected gift of a cello bow, setting him on the unlikely course of becoming a musician. His extraordinary journey leads him to anarchist Barcelona and the court of the embattled monarchy in Madrid, where he meets Aviva, a beautiful violinist with a haunted past. Meanwhile, forces gather that will propel the world to a catastrophic crescendo, testing the strength of Feliu's friendships, rivalries, and loves.
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.