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The Devil's Music

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3.63  ·  Rating details ·  158 ratings  ·  25 reviews
It is 1958 and five-year old Andy has a new sister, Elaine, who his father describes as ‘not quite all there.’ While his parents argue whether or not to send her away, Andy sleeps beside her cot every night and watches as his mother withdraws into sadness. So begins this deeply moving and profoundly affecting story of the ties that bind mothers and children.

This debut
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Hardcover, 320 pages
Published July 6th 2009 by Bloomsbury
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Average rating 3.63  · 
Rating details
 ·  158 ratings  ·  25 reviews


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Tania
Mar 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
I read this book straight through, in a few hours, because this is the best way to read, I find, especially when drawn in by beautiful writing and compelling voices. This is told in the present and the past, by characters at different times and from different points of view, and it weaves together perfectly, telling you just enough so that you have to keep reading but leaving just the right amount unsaid. The voices of both children and adults are utterly authentic and Rusbrudge succeeds in ...more
Rebecca E.
Apr 03, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is a beautifully written book. It's very intense and the author really gets into the heads of her main characters so you feel all their pain. There are lots of loose ends and unanswered questions so probably not a book to read if you like things neat and tidy and finished; but here it works well, giving the story depth and realism and drawing you in.

I look forward to reading more from Jane!
Louise Graham
Aug 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
The Devil’s Music is the debut novel by Jane Rusbridge.

A story set in the late 1950′s. A family have to come to terms with a Daughter that is “not quite all there” according to the Father. The Mother is lonely and sinks deep into despair until she finds hope in a young painter who comes to decorate the family house. Andy the Son, has the distraction of his shared love of knots with his Grandfather.

Everything changes one day at the beach when Andy is left in charge of his baby sister. He soon
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D.J.
Mar 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Devil's Music is a novel about love laid bare; painful, irresistible, believable love in all its forms. The intensity of this novel will force you to keep reading even when you dread finding out what happens next. I cried through the final 30 pages and I know that at some point in the future I will have to read it all over again.
Kathryn
Dec 05, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hypnotic writing, tensely woven & straining like muscle or like the knots the main character, Andrew, fashions, this is a beautifully-written debut novel and I'm very much looking forward to reading more from this author.
Khush Agrawal
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
this is a good book which takes the reader into a different place.I highly recommend this book for everyone.

Jodie
Aug 09, 2010 rated it really liked it
Since there is no storyline info here this is from the cover:

It is 1958 and the Sputnik satellite has taken a dog up into space; back on earth, five-year-old Andy has a new sister, Elaine – a baby who, his father insists, is ‘not quite all there’. While his parents argue over whether or not to send Elaine away, Andy sleeps beside her cot each night, keeping guard and watching as his mother – once an ambitious, energetic nurse – twists away into her private, suffocating sadness.

Knots keep
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Cleopatra  Pullen
Aug 10, 2013 rated it liked it
A family in 1950's Britain who have a daughter, Elaine, who is classed as mentally deficient. Andy the elder brother remembers a tragic accident on a seaside holiday and soon afterwards his mother disappears. The book is narrated by Andy as a child in the first person and also by himself 30 years later as an adult the mother's voice is narrated in the second person. Although I can see the reason why Jane Rusbridge chose this medium to tell her story I found it difficult to truly engage with her ...more
Bronwyn Rykiert
At last I have managed to finish this book, which I found a bit strange to read. I do like to enjoy a book that just tells a story and though I don't mind a bit of backwards and forwarding this book did not do it for me.

The story line had such potential - family, 3 children, one of them severley handicapped, one normal?, the other a bit autisic?. I think the father Michael, a doctor, was a bit of a bully but I am not sure - the story did not really let me know, just a couple of paragraphs that
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Sandra
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Probably a little less than a five for the occasional confusion - and jarring - of the changes in tense, second person most of all, but nevertheless this is beguiling; one of those novels which had me entranced within the first page and a half, from the writing alone.

Set on the Kent coast, it couldn't in one way fail, but so delicately drawn and individual were the characters, eccentric but so real, and so much the need to find out their story, how, and whether, they survive, what happens to
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Alison Evans
Aug 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Andy is a bit of an oddball. He is obsessed with knots, which his grandfather, who was a rope maker, has taught him. Now his father has died, leaving everything to his mother, who disappeared when he was quite young, so he and his sister, Susie, do not know if she is alive or dead. One of the things left is a converted railway carriage by the sea, that they used as a holiday house when they were small. Andy also believes that he was responsible for the death of their severely disabled, younger ...more
Amanda
Dec 01, 2012 rated it really liked it
A complex narrative in three voices, each developed in its own right and alive with feelings of guilt, anger and loss. The three voices are spun together not unlike the metaphor of rope making which entwines the entire story. As ropes and knots, both literally and figuratively, are made or undone, questions of personal sacrifice and making choices are answered or remain suspended swinging from the ceiling. Virginia Woolf's dark sadness never seem far away, as the stories of this family becomes ...more
Kirsty Wayland
Jan 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014
Amazing beautiful book which immerses you in swirling family perspectives and multiple timelines. If I hadn't already read about that and tried to fight it I may not have enjoyed it so much but when I relaxed into the flow and tried not to worry too much about facts and timeline it was great.

For me it is about memory and recall and how we understand the world as children. It's about family relationships and about people.

What worries me is that if it was interrogated too thoroughly there would
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Kerstin
Jun 05, 2013 rated it it was ok
A beautifully written, thoughtful book with wonderful characters and imagery and an unusual way to begin a novel (glossary of knots). I enjoyed the 3 narrative voices and how each of those perspectives came together, exposing the individual tragedies. I liked the rope and knots metaphor that was expertly integrated throughout the story. However, I thought the story had such potential and I wanted it to go further. I also was slightly disappointed that the story - despite the surprising ending - ...more
Jackie
May 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Oh dear. How destructive family secrets can be. Andrew's had a difficult life at the hands of his angry father and grieving and absent mother. He isn't the most easy of characters himself but the peek into his life shows that he deserves some happiness. Will he achieve the closure needed to affect this?

One word springs to mind: lyrical. This tale is so beautifully descriptive and emotional, the characters incredibly complex and believable. I read this twice which is unheard of for me.
Jackie
Mar 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oh dear. How destructive family secrets can be. Andrew's had a difficult life at the hands of his angry father and grieving and absent mother. He isn't the easiest of characters himself but the peek into his life shows that he deserves some happiness. Will he achieve the closure needed to affect this?

One word springs to mind: lyrical. This tale is so beautifully descriptive and emotional, the characters incredibly complex and believable. I read this twice which is unheard of for me.
Janet Finucane
Jul 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book, it was emotionally engaging. I loved the different voices telling the story through the decades, the boy his mother and then later the man. The language and style were excellent. I loved the descriptions of his early home life. An excellent author and a thoughtful beautiful book
Penelope
May 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes a lyrically told tale.
Shelves: fiction
This was an interesting book that was beautiful written with wonderful imagery that drew the reader in. I did enjoy this book but wanted to go further with the characters to see that they would be ok. I would recommend this book but only if open endings don't leave you slightly frustrated.
Elaine
Nov 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is an exquisitely witten novel, I enjoyed every second reading it. Jane Rusbridge is an extremely talented writter evoking characters & places to the perfection. A passionate & beautifully woven story
Gabrielle Kimm
Dec 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This is classy writing. A cleverly woven trio of narratives, telling a haunting tale that grips from the beginning.
Peter Van
Sep 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: novel
Boring and gruesome book. I could never get into it.
Sharon Peskett
Aug 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
I so nearly gave up on this but am so glad I didn't. It took a while to find the flow of the novel, but when it came, it was compelling. Emotional, beautifully descriptive and thought-provoking.
Ruth Lunn
Jun 24, 2013 rated it liked it
I found the book really jumped about a lot, which made it hard to get into, but there's some beautiful writing which makes it worthwhile.
John
Nov 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Got this on the strength of some good reviews.
Patchy at best. Reasonably interesting premise, occasionally well written but often not.
Tarquilla
Aug 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
An interesting book. It seems to break all of the so called rules of writing yet still works. Absorbing and dark, a very good read.
Heather
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Jane Rusbridge lives and works in coastal West Sussex.

Her debut novel, The Devil's Music (Bloomsbury, 2009)was nominated for the 2011 International IMPAC Literary Award.

'An unputdownable and beautifuly written novel' Tania Hershman

Read the reviews:
http://www.janerusbridge.co.uk/reviews/

Her second novel, ROOK (Aug 2012)is one of 9 launch titles from Bloomsbury's exciting new literary imprint,
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