The Piano Player’s Son
I am really pleased to be able to do this review as part of Lyndsay Stanberry-Flynn’s Blog Tour.
The Piano Player’s Son is Lyndsay’s second novel and is published by Cinnamon press.
This is a book detailing the breakdown of a family after a bereavement. The two sisters and two brothers are brought together with their mother at the family home in North London after the death of the father. On the night of the bereavement the mother imparts a secret to her daughter, Isabel, who is then herself sworn to secrecy, something that eats away at her. The lies and betrayal that emanate from the secret produce a cocktail of jealousy, resentment and pain that culminates in a shocking denouement.
The characters are full of complexity and depth. They are flawed and thus very real. At times you want to give them a big hug, but at other times you want to wring their necks.
Isabel is the recipient of the secret, she finds that it weighs very heavily on her. She is also suffering personally, with her marriage over and unable to move forward.
Rick is the most complex character. He can be intensely unlikeable, with his materialism and demands on his family. Yet he obviously adores his wife and daughters. Most of his emotions are driven by not being able to prove himself to his father when he was younger.
Grace lives in Italy and cannot get back home in time to see her father. This strains relations between herself and her sister. Grace’s home life is also fraught as her Italian husband, Franco, wants a baby and she does not.
George is the youngest and lives in Penzance. The other siblings have their view point heard whilst George doesn’t. Nevertheless he is at the heart of the story.
The action takes place in four different locations: London, Italy, Northumberland and Penzance. The author is excellent at giving a strong sense of each place.
This is such a good read. The pages turn faster than an autumn leaf blowing in the wind. There are also some big shocks in here that I didn’t see coming at all. I would highly recommend this book, if I didn’t know who had written it I could have mistaken it for Anne Tyler and I can give it no higher commendation than that.