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  • Location: Edinburgh, Paris, Nice, St Petersburg, Andaman Islands

Love is Blind

Love is Blind

Why a Booktrail?

1890s: Just how blind can love be?

  • ISBN: 978-0241295939
  • Genre: Fiction

What you need to know before your trail

The story of Brodie Moncur, a young Scottish musician, about to embark on the journey of his life.

When Brodie is offered a job in Paris, he seizes the chance to flee Edinburgh and his tyrannical clergyman father, and begin a wildly different new chapter in his life. In Paris, a fateful encounter with a famous pianist irrevocably changes his future – and sparks an obsessive love affair with a beautiful Russian soprano, Lika Blum. Moving from Paris to St Petersburg to Edinburgh and back again, Brodie’s love for Lika and its dangerous consequences pursue him around Europe and beyond, during an era of overwhelming change as the nineteenth century becomes the twentieth.

Travel Guide


Location wise, buckle in and there’s a journey from Edinburgh to Paris to St Petersburg and then as the novel starts and later ends up again on the Andaman Islands.

Brodie is 24 years old and works for the Channon Piano Company at their Edinburgh showroom. He heads off to Paris to develop their new store but stops off at the little town near Peebles where he grew up before he goes.


It’s in Paris however where he becomes obsessed with a Russian opera singer called Lika. Paris and St Petersburg are the ideal places therefore to visit as many of the artistic places in both of those cities is a must. In Paris, he scours the city for a famous piano player to help publicize the shop. The man known as the the ‘Irish Listz’ then enters stage left as it were…. together with his lover, Lika.

The world of the piano

This is an exciting time in Paris and the world of the musical performer. The use of the instrument and popularity of it, is evoked and echoed through the halls of Europe. It’s still mainly the rich and privileged who can afford to listen to it, but it’s a  fascinating world to peek into.

Booktrailer Review


Love definitely is blind you realise when you read this novel. Brodie Moncur,  a talented piano-tuner in Edinburgh meets someone in Paris and ends up falling in love with her to the point of obsession only to realise that she is the partner of someone else.

Before that obsession starts, another one is already underway – that of the world of pianos and piano tuning. It all gets a bit technical and drawn out here in my opinion but you can’t help but realise that the art of piano tuning is a fascinating one!

But it’s the obsession of his love for Lika which drives the novel. It’s more of an obsession for sex rather than love though as the graphic scenes suggest. He moves around and leaves Paris to head to Russia, and then…well he’s a bit lost in the geographical sense as well as the obsessive love one. Did he really even know her I ask myself? Yes he wanted sex but I didn’t really feel the obsessive love of the title.

The settings are very nicely done however. The musical nature of each city shines through but so too does the filth of life around him,the chaos of each city and his account of each place make this somewhat of a fascinating travelogue. There’s some nice and apt literary references too with Onegin and Pushkin getting a mention and creeping into the story too.

I did enjoy much of this, but it’s a long journey to get there.

Booktrail Boarding Pass:  Love is Blind

Destination : Edinburgh, Paris, Nice, St Petersburg, Andaman Islands  Author/Guide: William Boyd  Departure Time: 1906 onwards

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