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Easy silence
Angela Huth
Adult Fiction HUTH

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From Publishers' Weekly:

"Suddenly William was able to contemplate the fact quite calmly: he would have to murder his wife." At the start of this unusual portrait of a British marriage, middle-aged William Handle is far from entertaining such wicked thoughts. For years, he has been happily married to Grace. Husband and wife each have their own satisfying occupationsÄWilliam is the principal violinist of the Elmtree Quartet, and Grace is a painterÄand they live comfortably in a suburb west of London. But then a new viola playerÄthe attractive Bonnie MorseÄjoins William's previously all-male quartet, and William loses his head. Meanwhile, Grace is getting more and more caught up in the life of the Handles' unbalanced but charismatic young neighbor, Lucien, who visits in the mornings and rants about his domineering mother. As William's plans to rid himself of his wife progress, farce shifts into black comedy. But after a split that includes Lucien's betrayal, Grace and William reunite with a simplicity that belies the homicidal frisson previously in the air. Huth (Land Girls) shows how human destiny is shaped amid the tinkling of teacups, in this very British tale. Although Grace and William are not entirely rounded characters, they are engaging as something more than symbols of middle-class married malaise. Easy to read, but brittle around the edges, the novel gives a cool account of thwarted passion. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

William Handle, a violinist with a prominent string quartet, and his wife, Grace, an accomplished artist of botanical books for children, have the kind of comfortable, easy relationship that comes with a long, happy marriage. Then the disturbed but engaging young Lucien comes into Grace's life and into William's comes Bonnie, the quartet's new viola player. Grace is both attracted and repulsed by Lucien's mood swings and his strange insinuation into her routine (he pops in daily for tea), while William is besotted by Bonnie's youth and attention. He resolves to murder his "dear Grace" so that he and Bonnie can play duets forever. Fortunately, William's attempts at murder are bungled, and his efforts to woo the fair Bonnie are mistaken for musical camaraderie. He recognizes the folly of his fantasy just in time. Not only is Grace spared death, but she is also mercifully absent when Lucien goes over the edge. Huth (Land Girls) has a marvelously deft hand at character portrayal and skillfully sustains the reader's sympathy for the human condition. Light reading to be sure, but carefully crafted and thoroughly entertaining. Recommended. Susan Clifford Braun, Aerospace Corp., El Segundo, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters William Handle
Age: Middle aged

Grace Handle
Age: Middle aged
William's wife.

Bonnie Morse
New member of William's quartet.

Age: Young adult
Troubled; the Handles' neighbor.

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