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May 03 , 2010

Chamber Music

A Novel


In her later years, a woman reflects on her marriage, her stifled passions, and her life 

At age ninety, Caroline Maclaren, widow of the prominent composer Robert Maclaren, finally decides to tell her own story. “Perhaps the time was not right to do it before,” she remarks. But now she takes pen to paper, reliving her sheltered girlhood, her chilly marriage to a brilliant man, and—perhaps above all—the melancholy solitude in which she has lived nearly all her life. It was only when her husband fell ill that Caroline found fulfilling companionship with Anna, Robert’s caretaker.

This masterful tale of loneliness and of passion late in life is widely considered to be Grumbach’s finest work. Bittersweet, touching, and profoundly resonant, Chamber Music is captivating.

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