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  • Hodder & Stoughton

Rites of Spring

Jessica Duchen

7 Reviews

Rated 0

Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

At what point does a free spirit become a lost soul This debut novel set in the music world beautifully captures the pressures and dangers of contemporary family life.

This isn't where we started out. This isn't what we wanted or intended. How did we come to this

Adam and Sasha appear to have it all: a pleasant home, demanding careers and three bright children. But underneath, the pressures of modern living are taking an unendurable toll. When Adam, under extreme strain, breaks a longstanding promise to his wife, their relationship begins to crumble. Liffy, their innocent, ballet-obsessed thirteen-year-old, is caught in the middle.

Her parents are too occupied with their own troubles to notice that she is struggling. Adam battles with grief, while high-flying Sasha tries to juggle her work with caring for her small twin sons. As Liffy finds herself drifting away, the Levys spiral towards tragedy. Somsone has to make a sacrifice, but the cost could be too much to bear...

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Praise for Rites of Spring

  • An imaginative novel . . . with themes of miscommunication, perfectionism and adolescence. - Eve

  • Jessica Duchen's debut novel is captivating, imaginative and fascinating. As a musician and a mother, I recognized many of the scenarios and found the questions that were posed very poignant, both from a musical and personal perspective. The pace builds powerfully to a dramatic and ultimately very moving conclusion. Completely gripping! - Tasmin Little

  • Adam and Sasha appear to have the perfect life - good jobs, a nice home, money and three perfect children. But as their marriage begins to unravel, their ballet-crazy daughter starts staving herself - and her parents are too preoccupied to notice. A haunting, heartbreaking novel. - Closer

  • A sensitive and thought-provoking novel that will resonate all the more for those with musical leanings. - Femke Colborne, MUSO

  • Jessica Duchen has crafted a riveting drama set within the arts world . . . The neatly-composed plot charges to a climax as steadily as Ravel's Bol?ro, with Duchen capturing well the inner world of the pubescent girl and the London classical music scene. For fans of Joanna Trollope and Russian composers alike. - Classic FM Magazine

  • Wonderful! Thank you for hours of absorption - I had to know what happened to the characters. - Steven Isserlis

  • Duchen writes with a rhythm and pace that embrace a tellingly perceptive and articulate portrayal of the nuances of the human condition, richly detailed and yet always fluent. - Classical Music Magazine

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Jessica Duchen

Jessica Duchen was born in London and grew up with music and writing as twin passions. She has written for publications including The Independent and BBC Music Magazine and as music journalist has interviewed most of today's greatest musicians. Her books include biographies of the composers Gabriel Faure and Erich Wolfgang Korngold. As a pianist she plays in a duo with her violinist husband. They live in south-west London.

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