The House of Silence by Blanca Busquets

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“Everything changed when I found the violin. Look what I found, I said, triumphantly lifting the instrument in one hand and the bow in the other. And as I lifted it, I brushed my hand over the strings without meaning to, and they made a rending, high-pitched sound that tore at my soul.” 

This is a story not just about the musically gifted but about the jealousies and hungers that push and pull each of the characters through the years. Mr. Karl is the link, he is music in a sense- living and breathing it, shut up composing. When Karl is gone a tribute to memorialize him will pull each character once again into each other’s orbit. His son Mark is with Anna (selfish and damaged) and wishes to be finished with her toxic ways. Teresa came from humble beginnings and was immediately recognized as a raw talent, playing from the depths of her being, a true artist. Anna is her student, but her playing is cold, mechanical as much as her heart. Anna’s mother had left her and it affects her for a long time. She finds her father, who falls for Teresa and everything goes sour. Teresa just wants happiness, love, and has hopes things can work out. That’s the thing about people though, you cannot make someone who is spiteful  open their heart nor warm their change the direction of their dark path.  Maria, moves in and becomes more than just a live in maid to Mr. Karl. She is as much a part of his life as a family member. The two grow intensely close, different worlds converging, learning from one another. Mr. Karl is free with women as well, never seeing a problem with loving where you will when passion moves you. Is it the gift he sees in students, women that seduce him? Mr. Karl is tied to both Teresa and Anna, how could jealousies not be born?  Maria seems to be a constant in his life and has her hand in where the real violin ends up. In fact, Maria might just be inside Mr. Karl’s heart more than anyone.

Who knew a magical violin could hold so much drama. Jealousy, love, music, passion, tragedy, it is all here. Some people you just can’t win over, some people are in their own way and destroy their own happiness by blackening others. Manipulations never turn out the way you hope, and Anna learns that it can have downright disastrous results. You don’t have to play an instrument to feel moved by this novel. Beyond playing a few songs on a piano, I lack talent, raw or otherwise and yet I could feel the fire that drives musicians. By turns crushingly sad and sweetly uplifting, a strange combination and yet it works here.

Publication Date: October 4, 2016  Regan Arts

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