November 15, 2009

Lovesong - Alex Miller


I am ashamed to say that I have not read any of Australian author Alex Miller's work before - I'm not sure why really. I have certainly heard of him and his work before now but they never seemed to jump out at me. When I saw Lovesong though it's beautiful cover did jump out at me.

Lovesong is the story of a story - or several stories. Melbourne based author, Ken, has just returned from an extended trip to Venice after the release of his most recent novel - a novel he has decided will be his last. He returns home to the house he shares with his adult daughter, Clare, wondering where his life will take him now. Ken then meets John, his wife Sabiha and their young daughter, Houria, who have opened a bakery near to his home. Ken starts up a tentative friendship with John who tells him about his story with Sabiha - how they met in Paris at Sabiha's aunt's Tunisian cafe, Chez Dom and how they built a life and a relationship together there. There is a lot of pain and tragedy to their story - I was completely absorbed in this - it felt real and honest and even though it had the potential to be quite melodramatic this didn't happen.

The structure of the novel sounds so simple but it is really quite complex as Ken retells John's story that has been told to him and we see John and Sabiha's relationship through both of their eyes and perspectives.

I will certainly be looking out for more of Alex Miller's work after reading this one - a beautiful story teller.

10 comments:

adevotedreader said...

I cinfess that like yourself I have never got around to reading Alex Miller, but this sounds lovely. I will look out for it.

savidgereads said...

I have never heard of Alex Miller until this post so thank you for introducing me to what sounds like an interesting author and an interesting book! I am off to find out more about Mr Miller.

sasanof said...

Welcome to Australia's best kept secret! Alex Miller is underrated and all his books are worth reading - enjoy.

farmlanebooks said...

I haven't heard of this author either, so it is great to be let into the secret! I'll keep an eye out for this one.

My favourite underated author is Andrew Miller, so I'll have no trouble remembering the name!

softdrink said...

I've never heard of Alex Miller, but this sounds like a winner. With a beautiful cover.

Karen said...

Hi adevotedreader - I'm not sure what his other books are like but I did think this one was beautiful.

Hi savidgereads - I was quite ashamed as an Australian reader to not have read any of his books before - I definitely think this book would appeal to international readers too.

Hi sasanof - I'm so glad I have discovered him now - I will definitely be reading more. Any suggestions for where to go next?

Hi Jackie - I hope you like him when you get to his books. This one was subtle in many ways but it will definitely stay with me.

Hi softdrink - definitely a beautiful book inside and out.

Nadia said...

Great review! I'll definitely be checking to see what my local bookshop carries with regards to Alex Miller. Cheers!

Karen said...

Hi Nadia - I hope you can find some of his books and that you enjoy them when you do!

Tamara said...

How funny, I just read about this one this morning in Abbeys brochure and circled it for my christmas list... now it's a definite. Great review and thanks for promoting good aussie authors.

Karen said...

Hi T - I hope Santa is kind!