Tuesday, February 3, 2015

First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros: The Travelling Horn Player


Happy Tuesday! I'm taking part in First Chapter First Paragraph Tuesday Intros, hosted by Diane at Bibliophile by the Sea, where readers share a bit about what they're reading or thinking about reading.

I've never read a book by Barbara Trapido, although her name keeps coming up when I'm reading about other books and authors that people like. Last year, I came across The Travelling Horn Player (1998), and I'm thinking about reading it.

From the book jacket:

"When Ellen Dent's sister, Lydia, is knocked down by a car outside Jonathan Goldman's London flat, her death has far reaching and entirely unexpected consequences. Jonathan, for instance, is on a train at the time, travelling toward his wife and house in the country. An admired novelist, he has just said good-bye to his mistress, the gladiatorial Sonia, and is planning to repair his fractured marriage, but fears that he has been outwitted by Sonia's wiles. He's also expecting a visit from his daughter, the mad, bad Stella--once a sickly child, now a flame-haired cello player with a genius painter lover.

After her sister's funeral, Ellen returns to university in Edinburgh, but finds that things have changed. Her house mates from the previous year have left--olive-skinned Izzy, Stella of the cello, and Pen, her indispensable companion--leaving behind them a drawing and an old copy of Heart of Darkness. Lydia's death reveals new and surprising truths about everyone whose lives she touched, and as the story unfolds and the past opens up, a wonderful dance of death and love is unveiled.

With a switchback plot that shifts from Scotland to Rome, from London to the Cotswolds, Barbara Trapido's novel casts an unexpectedly delightful spell on the reader. The Travelling Horn-Player is peopled with characters whose extraordinary fates are at once uniquely hilarious and immensely touching."

Here is the opening:

"Early on the morning of my interview, I woke up and saw my dead sister. I had not seen her for three years. She came into my bedroom, opening and closing the door without a sound. Her hair was bobbed short and she was dressed in plain white cotton T-shirt and knickers. Nothing else. I watched her cross the room on bare feet, and pause to touch the somewhat staid interview clothes that I had laid out on a chair the night before: navy calf-length skirt, navy lambswool jumper, cream silk shirt, paisley silk scarf, best polished boots. She paused again to stroke the foot-end of my duvet. Then she walked on towards the window, where the curtains were drawn shut. While her facial expression in life had been characteristically animated, it was now serene and fixed, like that of a person sleep-walking."

I am interested to know what you think. Would you keep reading?


15 comments:

  1. Wow, what an unusual plot...and intriguing, too. Thanks for sharing...I hope you enjoy it.

    Here's mine: “WHAT I REMEMBER MOST”

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  2. I haven't heard of this author or title, but that's an intriguing premise for a novel and I liked the opening. Can't wait to hear more about it.

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  3. Hmm - not sure about this one. I liked the premise, but am not a big ghost fan, so the intro kind of turned me off. Would probably read a bit more before deciding.

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  4. I'm not a big ghost fan either, so I'd probably not go on.

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  5. This sounds like an interesting book--The intro intrigued me. I'm not familiar with this book or the author. Looks like I will have to give her a try!

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  6. I enjoyed the writing in the opening, but I'm not sure this is a book for me. I've always had a hard time believing in visions and ghosts. I'd have to read more before deciding.
    My Tuesday post features SIX STRINGS.

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    1. Yes, I'm interested to see how the ghost part of this story works out.

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  7. Well that certainly got my attention, what a beginning. I'd keep reading. Have a nice week. kelley—the road goes ever ever on

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  8. That intro really pulled me in Monica -- I'd keep reading . Great pick

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    1. Thanks, Diane! I've read good things about this book, so I'm looking forward to giving it a try.

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  9. Interesting! Yes, I would keep reading. Thanks for stopping by!

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