The Cellist's Notebook is a charming, life-affirming tale of discovery surrounding an old family mystery. A young girl's curiosity, her love of a little melody and the beauty of a cello evokes memories long forgotten.
Set in the present day, ten-year-old Emily Peters is spending the summer with her Nana Rose, a retired piano teacher, in rural Cumbria whilst Emily’s sister Lizzie travels to Paris for a French exchange. When Emily notices an old photograph of a cellist dating back to the Second World War and discovers cellos and an old music manuscript in the attic, her Nana tells of the touching and compelling story of her brother Leni, a linguist, cellist and music composer, whose disappearance was marked ‘ultimate fate unknown’ following World War II. Emily’s love of the unfinished cello melody, found in her Great Uncle Leni’s music notebook, evokes memories for her Nana Rose and Emily returns to Norfolk with a passion to play the cello and a determination to learn the long-lost melody. A series of events unfold that change the life of Emily and her family forever.
I haven’t read anything by Kittie Lambton before, however I can firmly say that the Cellist’s Notebook is one of the most endearing novels I have probably ever read. I love novels about tales of discovery and mystery. I especially enjoy novels about familial mystery and the situations that characters find themselves in that are often based on real life. It was enjoyable page to page and it was lovely to read about this set of characters and settings. The characters are abundant with flaws and motives, full fleshed out and sometimes questionable.
With the January blues well and truly here, there is nothing nicer than curling up inside, the world outside going by whilst reading a good book. With a well-thought out plot that had the right amount of surprise and unknown just to keep you reading, the character of Emily is so endearing and sweet I felt instantly connected, also memories of her Nana Rose, my grandmother was called Rose and just to read that character of a nan with memories and spending time with her, really made me feel nostalgic. Thank You Kittie for reminding me.
Curious and resilient, Emily had an outlook and a connection with the other characters that made me feel like I could relate to her, how the moments of the story came together and the plot was woven, just goes to show how wonderful Kittie’s writing was. The Cellists’s Notebook was an endearing and intelligent read that I am sure I will be thinking about for some time to come, definitely pick up a copy, you won’t regret the hours reading away about this novel of memories long forgotten, utterly charming.
Kittie Lambton was born in 1975 in Norfolk, England. She is a cellist, and has been providing music tuition for over fifteen years. She is an advocate for all children being able to learn musical instruments from a young age. Her early learning of the cello with her cello tutor in Norwich, Norfolk has created warm memories that inspired the writing of this book. Kittie enjoys exploring the science behind how music can evoke and improve memory and the importance of music in our everyday lives. She was recently awarded second place in the Westgate on Sea Literary Festival Short Story Competition 2019.