The Pastoral Symphony – Part 3 of the Beethoven Trilogy
Tess Alps

The Harp Quartet
Book Three of the Beethoven Trilogy

Reunited with her family in Rowanbridge after twelve years’ estrangement, Cathy Fitzgerald is forced to reconcile herself to the shocking secrets revealed to her by her mother, Hannah. She must reassess many of the people who featured so vividly in her childhood, the secretive, the sinister and the sinful. But making up for lost time and rebuilding family life with her three siblings is joyful.
Cathy helps her young son, Johnny, discover his place within both his Irish family and that of his English father. But where does she belong herself? The Maple Academy in Dalkey is her home but the lure of Connemara proves irresistible; there are many people there waiting for her to rescue them after their brutal experiences at Letterfrack School. Cathy creates a new life for herself as a professional healer, where music plays a central role, while Ireland continues to struggle with its own painful past. Cathy realises that true healing depends not only on love and kindness, which she has in abundance, but also on justice, which is a much harder goal to pursue.
Published: July 2021
Paperback: 420 pages
Price: £13.99
ISBN: 9-781914-424090

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Tess Alps has written all her adult life, from educational plays from her time in theatre-in-education to regular columns on advertising for The Guardian. She read English at Durham and her long career in advertising has required many forms of writing. But this is her first published novel. Inspired by a photograph of her grandmother at a finishing school in Dublin, and using snippets of memories from her mother, The Harp Quartet is the first of three novels about Hannah McDermott and her family. The second is The Moonlight Sonata, and the final part is The Pastoral Symphony. It is fitting that this ‘Beethoven trilogy’ is making its first appearance in the 250th anniversary year of Beethoven’s birth. Although the book is inspired by Tess’s grandmother and mother, the characters are totally fictional and bear no resemblance to any real person, living or dead. Tess lives in the Chilterns with her husband. She edits the village magazine and is an avid gardener, competing fiercely in the village-garden club shows.