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.