Friday, September 21, 2007

Pg. 69: "The Spanish Bow"

The current feature at the Page 69 Test: Andromeda Romano-Lax's The Spanish Bow.

About the book
, from the author's website:
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.
Among the early praise for the novel:
“An impressive and richly atmospheric debut.”
New York Times Book Review

“...for sheer scope and ambition, this is a tough debut to beat.”
Publishers Weekly

“The book is almost dizzyingly episodic, but bound together by Feliu's lifelong struggle with the question of the proper relationship between music and politics, a subject Romano-Lax handles with finesse. ... A deft, inventive debut.”
Kirkus Reviews

"This riveting historical page-turner moves inexorably toward a heartrending crescendo."
Read an excerpt from The Spanish Bow, and learn more about the book and author at Andromeda Romano-Lax's website.

Romano-Lax worked as a freelance journalist and travel writer before turning to fiction. Among her nonfiction works are travel and natural history guidebooks to Alaska and Mexico, as well as a travel narrative, Searching for Steinbeck's Sea of Cortez: A Makeshift Expedition Along Baja's Desert Coast.

The Page 69 Test: The Spanish Bow.

--Marshal Zeringue