‘Nocturnes’

Having just started an internship in Soho, I’ve suddenly gained access to the magical wonderland that is Foyles Bookstore. Now, it wasn’t my first time into this lovely bookstore, but I hadn’t explored it properly in a long time.

Anyway, I wandered into Foyles and took my time wandering and pondering…I eventually settled on 2 books: ‘Nocturnes’ by Kazuo Ishiguro and ‘The distance between us’ by Maggie O’Farrell. Now, my reason for choosing the latter was that I really REALLY enjoyed ‘The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox’ and wanted more of O’Farrell’s work, and my reason for choosing ‘Nocturnes’ was that it was recommended by the staff and I’m of a very trusting nature…

I started with ‘Nocturnes’ and found it to be everything I’d expected and more. From the back cover and appraisals from various sources, I expected to read of love, life and music, with the underlying theme of the inevitable passing of time; and these concepts flowed and weaved throughout the book whilst giving me time between chapters/sections to pause and reflect.

As a musician myself (now in somewhat of a dormant phase…) I absolutely loved how music was being described in different ways throughout the book, but don’t know whether readers from a non-musical-playing background would appreciate it in the same way.

Granted, people not interested in music probably wouldn’t pick the book in the first place, being that the tagline is ‘Five Stories of Music and Nightfall’…but ‘Nocturnes’ is a series of subtly interlinking, beautiful stories, which left me in the mindset that; regardless of the passing of time, love, music or even the love of music remain strong. There are moments of joy and elation, but also of heartache and longing, and I would agree with David Sexton of the Evening Standard…

“These stories come up on you quietly, but then haunt you for days.”

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