Patrick Langley:The Variations

The latest addition to my website is Patrick Langley‘s The Variations. The book tells the story of people affected with the gift and the Agnes’s Hospice for Acoustically Gifted Children, which cares for them. The gift means that they can commune with the dead and are attuned to musical resonances (and are often talented musicians). However the curse is that they can fall intro trances and hear the voices of the dead. The Dean of the Hospice, Ellen Montague, was once a ward at the Hospice with Selda Heddle. Selda has gone on to become a celebrated composer but the gift will continue to trouble her. Much of the book is her story. The gift seems to have more or less bypassed her daughter, Anya, but eventually affects her grandson, Wolf and we also follow his story and his relationship with his mother and grandmother. The book goes into considerable detail about the gift and Langley gives us a very fine and complex story about it.

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