Listening To Brahms
Listening to Brahms is a story of self-discovery and of one woman confronting the events of her past. It is Christmas 1989 when Margaret discovers her diary from a school trip to Germany 35 years earlier. She opens her link to 1954 and begins re-living the events of all those years ago, describing post-war Germany, a world in recovery, personal relationships, and her first love – a pianist called Peter.
Readers are transported from 1989 to 1954 and back again as Margaret juggles present family dramas and her experiences in a small German village. Through her diary and photos she finds herself face to face with the traumatic event that has shaped her life. The end result is a woman set free from her past to embrace a new life. The story is well written and well structured although the prose feels a bit dated. The plot is clearly defined, and the transition between the present and the past are well managed. Rosemary creates a clear picture and is able to generate emotion of a very sensitive time in world history. Her descriptions of post-war Germany, the execution of Ceausescu, and the demise of the Berlin Wall leave the reader immersed in the past while simultaneously excited about the future for Margaret herself.
Overall, the formatting of the book is well done. However, the headings of chapters, dates, etc, could have been done in a way that doesn’t interfere with reader immersion as much. Additionally, cream paper would have been more suitable than white for long periods of reading.
I would recommend Listening to Brahms, especially to an older generation of readers.