The Gustav Sonata by Rose Tremain
What is the difference between friendship and love? Gustav grows up in a small town in Switzerland, where the horrors of the Second World War seem a distant echo. But Gustav's father has mysteriously died, and his adored mother Emilie is strangely cold and indifferent to him. Gustav's life is a lonely one until he meets Anton.
An intense lifelong friendship develops but Anton fails to understand how deeply and irrevocably his life and Gustav's are entwined until it is almost too late... 'A perfect novel about life's imperfection... Tremain is writing at the height of her inimitable powers...' Kate Kellaway, Observer'Heartbreaking, unsentimental and beautifully written, and it reinforces my opinion that there are few writers out there with the dexterity or emotional intelligence to rival that of the great Rose Tremain.' John Boyne, The Irish Times