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A best-selling, compelling and evocatively realised novel based on real events and figures

A best-selling, compelling and evocatively realised novel based on real events and figures. It has now sold into eight different countries around the world.

In June 1941, Nazi troops march on Leningrad and surround it. Hitler's plan is to shell, bomb, and starve the city into submission. Most of the cultural elite are evacuated early in the siege, but Dmitri Shostakovich, the most famous composer in Russia, stays on to defend his city, digging ditches and fire-watching. At night he composes a new work.

But after Shostakovich and his family are forced to evacuate, only Karl Eliasberg - a shy and difficult man, conductor of the second-rate Radio Orchestra - and an assortment of musicians are left behind in Leningrad to face an unendurable winter and start rehearsing the finished score of Shostakovich's Leningrad Symphony.

Reviews

This extraordinary novel is a symphony on the power of love — the love of music, home, family, city, and Quigley’s love of writing. Each sentence carries the weight of these loves, but each sentence is characterised by an unexpected moving lightness of being. A triumph on every level.

Paula Green, Canvas Magazine

I felt utterly transported to a place and a time — Leningrad in the grip of winter and the brutal siege that saw its citizens stripped of hope and dignity, eating boiled shoe leather to survive, the life slowly being crushed out of them. It’s powerful material that might have been misused by a more heavy-handed writer but Quigley has a lightness and clarity both in the way she uses words and story.

Nicky Pellegrino, New Zealand Herald

It’s an extraordinary book set during the siege of Leningrad and weaving fact with fiction... I felt utterly transported to a place and a time - Leningrad in the grip of winter and the brutal siege that saw its citizens stripped of hope and dignity, eating boiled shoe leather to survive, the life slowly being crushed out of them. It’s powerful material that might have been misused by a more heavy-handed writer but Quigley has a lightness and clarity both in the way she uses words and story.

Nicky Pellegrino

This extraordinary novel is a symphony on the power of love — the love of music, home, family, city, and Quigley’s love of writing. Each sentence carries the weight of these loves, but each sentence is characterised by an unexpected moving lightness of being. A triumph on every level, the book also contains the Shostakovich CD for you to play as you read.

The New Zealand Herald

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Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9780143771272

    May 15, 2017

    RHNZ Vintage

    368 pages

    RRP $30.00

    Online retailers

    • Fishpond
    • Mighty Ape
    • Paper Plus
    • The Warehouse
    • Whitcoulls
    • The Nile
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

  • EBook

    9781869795078

    August 26, 2011

    Random House New Zealand

    300 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks NZ
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Google Play
    • Kobo
    • Booktopia NZ
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at www.booksellers.co.nz/directory

Also by Sarah Quigley

The Suicide Club
Tenderness
In the Palace Gardens

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