June's Room

The Maestro's Voice

The Maestro's Voice - Roland  Vernon This is a book I really got into. Books are not read in a vacuum...our enjoyment of them is inevitably coloured by our experiences, interests,likes and dislikes..and this story of an ageing Italian tenor reassessing his life after a near-death experience was only enhanced by my love of opera, Italy and Hollywood movies. I'm a huge Mario Lanza fan and this put me so much in mind of his portrayal of Caruso in 'the Great Caruso'. Thus I already had the 'mental landscape' which the characters in this book inhabit,if you will.
The 'hero' of our story, Rocco, is at a point in his life where he has been forced by ill health to take stock..during an operation to save his life he has a vision in which he is told to put his house in order...unfortunately his 'house' has some very dodgy inhabitants..ie the local mafia...and he is also plagued by guilt at how easily he left behind his best friend in the quest for the top .he must make amends...and there remains another question...will he ever sing again? Great stuff...