Night Music by Jojo Moyes joins a fast growing list of books I’ve read by Jojo. It all started when my husband decided to add to the few Moyes books in my collection by tracking down second-hand copies of her other books. Now I have ten of her books!
Night Music is a story about grief, family, music and house renovations. Isabel Delaney is a recently widowed violinist with two children. She’s always taken a backseat in parenting as she was travelling around playing in orchestras while her husband looked after the kids. Following his death, she finds out that her family is in a mountain of debt and they can no longer afford their mortgage or the children’s nanny.
Isabel is not very good at practical things like paying bills, but even she knows that her family is in trouble. When a distant, elderly relative dies and leaves Isabel his house, it seems like the solution to all her problems. Isabel sells her house and moves her kids from London to the country, only to find that her inheritance is a crumbling house that’s about to fall over. She must learn how to get practical fast if her and her kids are going to survive in their wreck of a house. But little does she know that the house is coveted by an unscrupulous builder who believes the house should have been left to him. He pretends to offer a helping hand to Isabel but he has an ulterior motive.
Night Music has all the right elements: a small village full of gossipy characters, a brooding potential love interest, people with secrets and a struggling mother trying to find her feet. BUT I found it hard to care about any of the characters apart from the lovely woodsman Byron and Isabel’s silent son Thierry. The villain of the story, the builder Matt, was such a tool (excuse the pun) and really took up too many pages in this book. He made my skin crawl with his slimey ways.
Isabel was a tragic, artsy character who I felt took far too long to mum-up and become the mother her children needed her to be. I get that she was a musician and not a practical sort of person, and she did change in the book slightly, but it took far too long for her character to develop and I ended up feeling frustrated with her character.
But Night Music was a well-written novel as you would expect from Jojo Moyes. I enjoyed reading it.
Verdict: A great read for fans of Jojo Moyes.