Trying to discover why the characters in a Greek play called Tracinda loved each other so much, this book by Antony Beevor takes us back to the time when Athens was the centre of the world. It’s 1979 and the socialist government in Athens has collapsed and the police and secret services are out to destroy political dissidents. However, after the fall of the tyrant General Savvidis a terrible sense of calm is restored. After all, Greece is fertile ground for the development of musical talent – particularly classical music.
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In this vanguard movement in Athens, gifted composers, pianists and singers, in a bid to show the rest of the country, where classical music is still looked down upon, what really makes them tick, start performing Love Stories. What they find is something more than sheer love: something slightly toxic, something truly new. For love-struck artists in an artistic society where music has always been a source of joy, this means a tremendous change of life direction. And it gives us a novel as fresh, entertaining and surprising as love itself.
• The Sins of the Father by Antony Beevor is published by Hachette. To order a copy for £8.39 (RRP £9.99) go to guardianbookshop.com or call 0330 333 6846. Free UK p&p over £10, online orders only. Phone orders min p&p of £1.99.