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The Music Room

A Memoir

William Fiennes (Author)

Overview | Inside the Book

A bittersweet description of an ancient family house in an enchanted setting, and of growing up with a damaged brother. "Sublimely evocative."—The New Yorker.

William Fiennes spent his childhood in a moated castle, the perfect environment for a child with a brimming imagination. It is a house alive with history, beauty, and mystery, but the young boy growing up in it is equally in awe of his brother Richard. Eleven years older and a magnetic presence, Richard suffers from severe epilepsy. His illness influences the rhythms of the family and the house’s internal life, and his story inspires a journey, interwoven with a loving recollection, toward an understanding of the mind.

This is a song of home, of an adored brother and the miracle of consciousness. The chill of dark historical places coexists with the warmth and chatter of the family kitchen; the surrounding landscapes are distinguished by ancient trees, secret haunts, the moat’s depths and temptations. Bursting with tender detail, The Music Room is a sensuous tribute to place, memory, and the permanence of love.

Book Details

  • Paperback
  • September 2010
  • ISBN 978-0-393-33878-2
  • 5.5 × 8.3 in / 224 pages
  • Sales Territory: Worldwide excluding Canada and the British Commonwealth.

Endorsements & Reviews

“Humane rather than melodramatic, a lovely memoir rich with poignancy of family and place.” — Wall Street Journal

“A haunting lament for a life that could have been and the love that remained for a broken mind.” — Amanda Foreman, author of The Duchess

“An artful memory piece about a unique home life.” — Kirkus Reviews

“Exemplary.” — The Telegraph

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