December, 1989. While Margaret is visiting her sister and her husband at Blackheath Vicarage for a family Christmas, she finds the diary she kept during a school exchange visit to Germany in the summer of 1954. Painful memories from that time come flooding back when she hears a Brahms Rhapsody being played on the piano by Jonathan, a consultant at the local hospital. At the age of 17, she believed she had found the love of her life when a young pianist, Peter, kissed her and quoted poetry to her. But the traumatic events that followed changed her life forever. Now, 35 years later, emotional feelings she thought she had suppressed for ever are once again awoken as she begins to fall in love with Jonathan. As the family gathers to celebrate Christmas and the New Year, it appears that her sister's marriage is beginning to crumble. While Margaret's story is unfolding, the Soviet Union is collapsing. Ceausescu and his wife are executed in Romania, Havel becomes president of Czechoslovakia and the border dividing East and West Germany has come down, emphasising the pointlessness of the ever-changing divisions and alliances between peoples. Listening to Brahms is a gripping read that will appeal to fans of romance and historical fiction.
Rosemary Allen has been writing on and off all her life. In addition to Listening to Brahms, she has written about a dozen short stories. Music features in much of her writing and has always played a large part in her life, both as listener and participant.