Madame Sousatzka is the only work I read by Bernice Rubens, but it will not be the last. The story mostly takes place in Madam Sousatzka’s London house, which gave the book its name. But what a house! Sousatzka and her very colourful tenants add an utterly different pace and joy to the life of little Marcus. I made new friends in this book, as in every book that tells a character story.
Marcus is a gifted pianist, although he is very young. Madame Sousatzka is a teacher who devoted her life to music. What happens between these two is like a spell that affects not only themselves but also the people around them. Desperation, ambition, love and friendship are among the things you’ll find in this story. To the end, as the story begins to unravel slowly, it forces people to take sides. However, in the end, black and white disappear, and there is only grey.
In addition to the intensity of love, the book also draws attention to the source of this love. What impressed me the most was when and by which character the story was told. Bernice Rubens is a genuinely brilliant author. You will love the story and the characters—a must-read. Enjoy!
Madame Sousatzka specialises in child prodigies. In her hands, the new boy will blossom into a musical genius. But the public cannot hear him yet: until his debut he belongs to Sousatzka and her bizarre hot-house tenants. One day he will be a great pianist – until that day he must play only for Sousatzka.
Novelist Bernice Rubens was born in Cardiff, Wales, in 1928, the daughter of a Russian Jewish father. She read English at the University of Wales. She became a Fellow of the University of Wales in 1982 and so was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1991.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: