Music for the Third Ear

Music for the Third Ear

3.67 (43 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
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Description

The novel opens in provincial Norway as Hans Olav and his wife, Mette, await the arrival of Zheljka and Mesud, refugees from the Bosnian war to whom they are offering accommodation. The troubled, childless daughter of Hungarian Jews who survived Auschwitz, Mette is pleased with their charitable gesture but more especially excited by the idea that Zheljka, of all people, will recognize that she too is a victim. Intensely private, tentatively trying to piece together their marriage after the war and horrendous cruelties have separated them, Zheljka and Mesud couldn't be less interested in bonding with their hosts. Before long, they leave. Frustrated by Zheljka's aloofness, Mette becomes obsessed with her, pushing her again and again to talk about the war as though Zheljka had no life before it and nothing else to talk about. Eventually, Zheljka breaks and Mette learns how she had been gang raped repeatedly by soldiers, had fallen pregnant and given away her unwanted son - whom she named Zero - when he was four years old. When Mette intercepts a letter to Zheljka from Zero's adoptive father in Rome, she makes a decision that will alter the course of all of their lives. With raw and beautiful simplicity, Susan Schwatz Senstad explores from an utterly human perspective the psychological fallout in the aftermath of a racist war. Gripping from the first page, it is a chillingly important novel of our time and serves as an unforgettable reminder of why no war can be won.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 127 x 198 x 16mm | 179g
  • Transworld Publishers Ltd
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 0552778958
  • 9780552778954

Review quote

"An accomplished first novel . . . A carefully woven tapestry of people in pain."-George Robinson, "The New York Book Review" "The harsh reality of the Yugoslav wars is brought home to a Norwegian couple in this searing first novel."-"Publishers Weekly" "A look into loss and horror, in was and out, that is capable of compelling its reader-and leaving behind a sense of deep pity."-"Kirkus Reviews" "[Senstad's] sensitive and insightful writing allows us to put a face on the countless newspaper accounts of atrocities that occurred in former Yugoslavia."-"The Anniston Star" "Susan Schwartz Senstad has given her writing all her talent, mind, and soul-no holds barred. The result is a splendid power, an ability to shine light into the inner worlds of her readers. For which we all thank her."-Sena Jeters Naslund, author of "Ahab's Wife" "This book is profound in its exploration of moral chaos, and devastating in its emotional precisshow more

About Susan Schwartz Senstad

Susan Schwartz Senstad, an American married to a Norwegian, lives near Oslo. A family therapist for many years, she now devotes her time entirely to writing. Before publication, Music for the Third Ear, her first novel, was semi-finalist in the 1998 William Faulkner Creative Writing Competition and was nominated for the 1998 Pushcart Editor's Choice Award.show more

Rating details

43 ratings
3.67 out of 5 stars
5 23% (10)
4 42% (18)
3 21% (9)
2 7% (3)
1 7% (3)
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