A rich, sweeping novel that moves through history, from World War I and World War II, into the fall of the Soviet Union, and up to the present day. Woven into the story is a hauntingly beautiful, anonymous piano sonata that has been broken up into three parts. With complex characters and seamless, multilayered writing, The Prague Sonata reaches deep into the human heart. Recommended By Richard C., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
Music and war, war and music — these are the twin motifs around which Bradford Morrow, recipient of the Academy Award in Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, has composed his magnum opus, The Prague Sonata, a novel over ten years in the making.
In the early days of the new millennium, pages of a worn and weathered original sonata manuscript — the gift of a Czech immigrant living out her final days in Queens — come into the hands of Meta Taverner, a young musicologist whose concert piano career was cut short by an injury. To Meta's eye, it appears to be an authentic eighteenth-century manuscript; to her discerning ear, the music rendered there is commanding, hauntingly beautiful, clearly the work of a master. But there is no indication of who the composer might be. The gift comes with the caveat that Meta attempt to find the manuscript's true owner — a Prague friend the old woman has not heard from since the Second World War forced them apart — and to make the three-part sonata whole again. Leaving New York behind for the land of Dvořak and Kafka, Meta sets out on an unforgettable search to locate the remaining movements of the sonata and uncover a story that has influenced the course of many lives, even as it becomes clear that she isn't the only one after the music's secrets.
Magisterially evoking decades of Prague's tragic and triumphant history, from the First World War through the soaring days of the Velvet Revolution, and moving from postwar London to the heartland of immigrant America, The Prague Sonata is both epic and intimate, evoking the ways in which individual notes of love and sacrifice become part of the celebratory symphony of life.
"A treasure of a novel, a deliciously enveloping musical mystery which I read with marvel and gusto. A virtuoso performance." Diane Ackerman, author of The Zookeeper's Wife
"Bradford Morrow is an astonishing writer." Joyce Carol Oates