Night Music: full of passion for music; passion between lovers, passion amongst families; and passion for the Spanish House.
The story opens innocently enough with Laura McCarthy taking chicken casserole and a baked potato over to the elderly Mr Pottisworth in the Spanish House, but although Laura plays a significant part in the story, it's really about Isabel Delancey, a recently widowed, gifted violinist who inherits Spanish House from a distant cousin.
Is this the end to all Isabel's problems? No, the grand old house is falling apart, and she hasn't enough money to repair it. There isn't even a plug for the fridge or a plumbed-in bath.
Now, step in Matt, Laura's husband who is also a builder. The pair have always had their eye on Spanish House, and Laura has looked after Walter Pottisworth, hoping that he will leave it to them, and Matt has even drawn up plans for its renovation.
However, Nicolas Trent, an estate agent, who discovers the house and grounds, also sees its potential and wants to redevelop it and remake his fortune. He seems interested in Laura as well.
Therefore, the house and its lake provide the backdrop to the evolving story of how Isabel and her children: fifteen-year-old Kitty and her younger brother, Thierry, come to terms with living there, with Kitty often taking on the role of mother instead of Isabel, who drowns her sorrows by playing her cherished Guarneri violin late into the night, whilst the others plot to take Spanish House off her hands.
Other characters who add richness and depth to the story are Byron, a man about Isabel's age, with a secret past who works with Matt and helps the family settle in, and Henry and Isad, the 'cousins' who run the village shop after careers in the City, and observe the comings and goings of village life.
This is altogether a wonderful mixture for a novel to settle down with on a cosy evening. It's believable, it's great and I loved it!