Distant Music by Lee Langley
A Novel

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The story of Distant Music -- chosen as one of the best books of 2002 by The Spectator -- begins in 1429 on Madeira, an island consumed by a fire that has blazed for seven years. A young peasant girl, Esperanca, meets Emanuel, a Jewish boy on shore from a Portuguese sailing ship. The courtship blossoms when he teaches her to read, but they know they must separate when the ship leaves. From that first meeting and parting, others flow across six centuries: each life is short and the couple faces peril, tenderness, and horror. What survives is love, the ache of longing, the awareness of something lost, the immensity of distance, and the fragility of human bonds.

About Lee Langley

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Lee Langley is the author of several novels including Persistent Rumours, winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best Novel, From the Broken Tree, and Changes of Address. She lives in Surrey, England.
Published January 1, 2001 by Chatto & Windus Ltd. 354 pages
Genres: Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Travel, Romance, Literature & Fiction, Parenting & Relationships, Self Help. Fiction

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She is left, lonely, by the sea that took everyone she cared about: “The sea lay spread below her like a great blue bird drying its wings in the sun, a bird that was also a god, claiming tribute.” The story is repeated in Faro, 60 years later, in 1489, with lovers who go by the same names—“the tw...

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Publishers Weekly

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Langley ingeniously reprises the same unlikely love story twice more, first in Lisbon in 1855, where the upper-class Esperança risks her life to exonerate the reputation of the eccentric bookseller Emmanuel, who has been accused of murder, and in present-day London, where a Catholic woman named E...

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