FESTIVAL by Lael Tucker


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Lament For Four Virgins (1952) spanned twenty tortured years in the South; this latest reviews the struggles and the climax of Lutie's and Joshua's fifteen years of marriage as they are played out against a music festival in a small Catalan town. The Old Man, the world's great cellist, exiled from Spain, has consented to play with a volunteer orchestra and the week of Bach concerts works up to a fevered crescendo as an international group of artists assemble and as publicity snowballs. The interplay of rehearsals and performances, the emotional rollercoaster of forced intimacies and the disorder of artistic intensity underline the problem that Lutie faces -- shall their separation continue to its legal end or shall the centrifugal force of the habit of marriage hold her and Josh together. Countering his affair with Becky with her own experiment with the arrogant violinist, Billy Jones, Lutie's week mirrors her own failures, hopes and despairs and as the program progresses it is the Old Man who teaches them all the necessity for humility and integrity. A distilled dissection of shaken and shaky egos, this is literate and compassionate and a tighter book than Lament.

Pub Date: July 30th, 1954
Publisher: Random House