30 Day Book Challenge: Day 4

The Well-Tempered Clavier by William ColesDay 4: A Book That Makes You Sad

The Well-Tempered Clavier by William Coles

Most of the reviews for this title read like this:

     ‘This is a charming and uplifting book.’ –Piers Morgan

     ‘Charming, moving, uplifting. Why can’t all love stories be like this?’ –Tunku Varadarajan, The Wall Street Journal

     ‘Elegantly structured, tinglingly evocative of the passion and brutality of first love – a wonderful read.’ –Louise Candlish

Uplifting. Charming. Evocative.

I think I cried for about 3/4 of my read, but I am naturally over-emotional, and this was not uplifting for me.

My perspective possibly comes from my own experience of first-love (which is what I’m in now) and what I hear other people say about it. I’ll stop there before this becomes a personal diary! The book is a beautiful, heart-breaking and possibly even inspiring novel about love, missed opportunities, jealousy, beauty and happiness.

Kim, a seventeen-year-old schoolboy, is attends Eton College, where boys are found, but no girls. He avoids schoolwork, attempts to appease his parents and generally questions his life and his future as the Falklands War rages thousands of miles away. India, a beautiful young piano teacher who arrives amidst the boys at Eton, plays Bach’s Well-Tempered Clavier and their paths become crossed.The thrill of first love (and love of any kind) is relayed with a startling accuracy and detail. The passionate relationships develops until its necessary and abrupt end, foreshadowing the impermanence of all things.

I would seriously recommend this book to anyone. It’s not a romance novel with cheesy dialogue and not-s0-discreet mentions of sex. This book delves into what it means to be a human being losing oneself in another person.

I picked The Well-Tempered Clavier up with little expectation (I had received it free in a goody-bag at a Society of Young Publishers‘ event), but I cannot stress enough how much it opened my eyes and created a catharsis of sorts. It’s not a book to pick up lightly, but it’s definitely not one you would want to put down too soon either.

While you think about whether or not to read this book, have a listen to some of the title’s inspiration by Bach:


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