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Love is Blind / William Boyd

William Boyd is one of of Britain’s most popular and successful novelists. He is also one of our most versatile. You never know quite what to expect when you read a Boyd novel. The hero or heroine might be male or female, it can take place in any location in any epoch.

It can be comic it can be an espionage thriller.

His latest – Love is Blind – one might describe as Victorian novel in time, form and content.

The hero is Brodie Moncur, a piano-tuner son of a monster Scottish lowland priest. The nevel is set in Victorian/ Edwardian times

He flies the coop to work for a firm of piano manufacturers in Edinburgh who transfer him to Paris. There he meets the love of his life a Russian soprano called Lika who is the partner of the Irish Liszt famous pianist John who has a sinister brother Malachi.

When John learns of the affaire via Malachi, he challenges Brodie to a duel. I won’t say more but Brodie, suffering from tuberculosis, is obliged to move south to Nice, then Biarritz and finishes up in the Andoman Islands.

It’s an amusing read but Boyd, whilst a writer of many talents, can’t always include story-telling amongst them as the novel rather peters out.

Nonetheless else’s he is highly informative on painting, treatment for tuberculosis and the various places that Moncur visits.

Boyd does seem obsessed with prostitution and male facial hair: most descriptions of the character start with their facial moustache, or Bernard.

Despite the unsatisfying ending , the novel does have narrational tension and I would classify it as a “ good read”

About Melanie Gay

A former literary agent with three published novels of her own, Melanie retains her life-long love of the written word and recently mastered the Kindle. She is currently writing a historical novel set in 17th Century Britain and Holland. More Posts