The Song House, Paperback
3.5 out of 5 (1 rating)


When Kenneth Earl realises his memory is failing, he advertises for someone to help him catalogue his vast collection of music, and so create a record of his life.

Maggie, the final candidate, is his last hope. But he doesn't guess, when he gives her the job, that the archive will be as much about her past as his -- because this isn't the first time that Maggie has been to Earl House, and it's no coincidence that she applied for the post ...'Slowly, and in Azzopardi's melodic, lyrical prose the secrets of Maggie's childhood are revealed, full of loss and longing, unfaithful loves and bad choices' Marie Claire 'Not just a good read, but a fireworks display of true talent.

A Fred and Ginger extravaganza -- and an unforgettable dance' The Scotsman 'Azzopardi is an accomplished writer, beautifully weaving the past into the present until her words literally sing off the page' Stylist magazine Book of the Week




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Trezza Azzopardi is one of my favourite authors. She always writes about small worlds, damaged characters hiding to some extent from the real world as some type of apocalypse approaches. This is no exception; Maggie goes to work for Kenneth, an Alzheimers sufferer who wants someone to record the memories he associates with his record collections, while he still has them and at the same time to fill in some of the gaps in her own troubled memoryAnd whilst the main characters, Maggie and Kenneth are well drawn (Maggie's battle to control her impulse to self harm is beaufifully described, and Kenneth's own view of his failing neural networks is both sympathetic and convincing) some of the important secondary characters are not. The motivations of Kenneth's son Will are hard to fathom, what Ali, who appears to be an old flame of Kenneth's, is doing in the story at all is unclear, and the River Man is unconvincingNever the less, the reconstruction of a critical incident in Maggie's childhood, through tdifferent eyes and different memories, was very well done. But it also left me flat; once we have established "what happened" - then what happens to these characters next?So although I love Azzopardi's prose, and was engrossed in the story, I can't rate this as highly as some of her others.

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