03/04/2009

Night Music (by Jojo Moyes)

I'd never heard of Jojo Moyes, although she has apparently written seven novels. I came across her when I was sent one of her novels by The Bookbag for review. The cover looked appealing, and the blurb on the back sounded like my kind of book.

'Night Music' is the story of obsessions. Matt is obsessed with the old and decrepit Spanish House. He coerces his wife Laura into pandering to the elderly Mr Pottisworth, assuming they will inherit it when he dies.

However, a distant relative turns out to be the heir. Isabel is an impractical musician, obsessed with her violin, and recently widowed. She has two delightful children: Kitty, who is fifteen and takes on far too much responsibility, and Thierry, who has withdrawn into his own world and not spoken since he lost his father in a car accident.

Most of the novel happens after Isabel and her children sell their London home and move to Spanish House. Matt takes on the renovations, clearly intending to over-charge Isabel and do work that's unnecessary, and I did find her naivety a bit frustrating at times. But she's a likeable character underneath her flakiness, and I found her children delightful.

There are caricatured minor characters, but that's not a problem. The ending of the book was over-dramatic, although perhaps I should have been able to guess what was coming, and the ending a bit on the tidy side. Nevertheless, the majority of the book was believable and enjoyable, well-written with more depth than I had expected.

All in all, I'd recommend it to anyone who enjoys women's fiction. I shall be looking out for more of Jojo Moyes' novels in future.

You can also read my longer review of 'Night Music' at The Bookbag site.

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