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Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9781472205339

Price: £18.99

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From the bestselling author of A PLACE CALLED WINTER comes a compassionate, compelling new novel of boyhood, coming of age, and the confusions of desire and reality.

‘It’s delicious, it’s dear, it’s heart-breaking and very funny’ Rachel Joyce
‘An incredibly beautiful story told with compassion. Nothing is wasted. Each sentence is beautifully crafted’ Joanna Cannon

1970s Weston-Super-Mare and ten-year-old oddball Eustace, an only child, has life transformed by his mother’s quixotic decision to sign him up for cello lessons. Music-making brings release for a boy who is discovering he is an emotional volcano. He laps up lessons from his young teacher, not noticing how her brand of glamour is casting a damaging spell over his frustrated and controlling mother.

When he is enrolled in holiday courses in the Scottish borders, lessons in love, rejection and humility are added to daily practice.

Drawing in part on his own boyhood, Patrick Gale’s new novel explores a collision between childish hero worship and extremely messy adult love lives.


Safe in the arms of Patrick Gale's BEAUTIFUL writing again - I could weep with joy.
Joanna Cannon
Sexy, joyous, funny and tender. I relished it
Sarah Winman
Joyous and full of light. I only meant to read a chapter and I greedily gobbled down the whole lot in one go. He is a beautiful and empathetic writer.
Cathy Rentzenbrink
A compelling story of how a passion for music can be the gateway to self-discovery, and lead a young teenager to find his tribe. The storytelling is so vivid, you can actually hear the music, and the intense fusion of artistic and erotic exploration will stir up memories for quite a few readers.
Jonathan Dove, composer
A fascinating story, gripping, moving and exquisitely written, this is a wonderful gift of a book from one of the best writers working today.
SJ Watson
Very well done indeed - brilliantly sustained
Rachel Johnson
Absolutely one of his complete best. So many funny and tender and terrific scenes. He hovers between social comedy and apocalyptic tragedy without the move appearing artificial or contrived. Just a wonderful, wonderful read
Stephen Fry
A tender and touching coming of age story from the always eminently readable Patrick Gale
Red Magazine
Patrick Gale has created such a wonderful character, I was bereft to leave him
Good Housekeeping
A compassionate and funny coming-of-age and coming-out novel. If you haven't read Gale before, start now
Woman & Home
A beautiful novel about longing, growth, music and family
Queen & Country Magazine
A wonderful, intelligent and enriching novel. Gale draws his protagonist with compassion and empathy, and the book is populated by some terrific supporting characters, such as former star cellist Naomi, who had to give up performing because of stage fright and becomes a surrogate sibling in Eustace's life. Ultimately, it is a forceful reminder of the emotional power of music. As Eustace is told by his teacher at summer school: "Music knits. It heals. It is balm to the soul." The same could be said for this book
i Newspaper
Gale is an enticing and quietly subversive storyteller . . . its depictions of strangeness and toxicity of under-the-surface conventions of middle-class life take it into darker and more surprising territory. In elegant, restrained prose, Gale writes with an eye on impermanence, showing how loss can be tinged with hope, and new beginnings with the threat of mortality. . . he taps into a range of experiences and emotions that are both specific and beautifully universal
Irish Independent
Gale is excellent on the hot, messy nature of self-discovery and sexual awakening
Daily Mail
Beguiling, vivid, wise and moving
Attitude Magazine (Book of the Month)
Beautifully told with understated glee and humanity, this novel raises smiles and shocked tears
Belfast Telegraph
This coming-of-age story is gorgeously written, full of warmth and humour
Sunday Mirror
As elegiac and contemplative as one might expect . . .suffused with the joy and wisdom of Gale's mid-life reconnection with music
This is what imbues his work with such heart and authenticity, and what makes Take Nothing With You, so readable, so believable, so . . . lovable. You'll be carried along by the music of Gale's prose, his charm, wit and warmth, and his empathy for us, for what it means to be human and other
Irish Times
This is an emotionally charged and humane tale beautifully conveying a child's partial view of the world
Daily Express
There is a natural warmth to Gale's writing
The Times
A lovely and lyrical coming-of-age tale
Sunday Express
Patrick Gale's moving novel is a trag-comic tale of love, loss and acceptance
This warm and humane novel is not only about love but also the value of art
Sunday Times
Gale's novel is generously optimistic. It shows how our past shapes us, but suggests that we can make something from the emotional burdens that we bear
Funny and heartfelt