Grace Notes (Bernard MacLaverty)

‘Grace Notes’ by Bernard MacLaverty is available from the school library!  Please borrow it and let us know what you think.

“Returning to Belfast after a long absence, to attend her father’s funeral. Catherine McKenna – a young composer – remembers exactly why she left: the claustrophobic intimacies of the Catholic enclave, her fastidious, nagging mother, and the pervading tensions of a city at war with itself. She remembers a more innocent time, when the Loyalists Lambeg drums sounded mysterious and exciting; she remembers her shattered relationship with the drunken, violent Dave, she remembers the child she had with him, waiting back in Glasgow. This is a novel, about coming to terms with the past and the healing power of music, “Grace Notes” is a master story-teller’s triumphant return to the long form: a powerful lyrical novel of great distinction. ”  Nielsen Bookdata Online

One of the underlying themes of this novel is, in addition to those mentioned in the synopsis given above, the one of  Catherine’s post-natal depression which is made worse by Dave’s treatment of her.  MacLaverty skilfully covers this theme and gives his heroine hope through her ability to lose herself entirely in her music, as it comes to her, its writing process and its performance.  It is a lyrical novel and worthy of  its being shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 1997…