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by William Coles


Every so often a special novel comes along. Such is the case with William Coles's  Prelude. By today's standards, the subject of the novel—India, a music teacher at Eton College seducing Kim, a seventeen-year-old student—would suggest likely prison time for the female character.

But this situation is somehow different from the typical teacher molesting a student. The affair is handled so delicately that the reader senses the great love between this mismatched pair. The word molestation never enters the reader's mind.

The obstacles that the two loves must overcome in order to continue their relationship and still keep it a secret from the faculty and students at the college make for some tense moments and add to the drama of the love affair.

Music is a big part of this novel—especially Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier." Both India and Kim love the music as much as they do each other. As the reader follows the clandestine trysts of these two lovers, he forgets that a crime is being committed. The love scenes, while passionate and somewhat graphic, ring so true of real love that one hopes for success of the union.

So what could possibly stop such a strong love? Insane jealousy on the part of Kim puts a big stumbling block in their relationship.

The combination of the music and the delicately-handled love scenes makes this a refreshing read that has "movie version" written all over it. The reader (and hopefully movie goer) will appreciate the Hollywood ending. The song "The Dance" and Bach's "Well-Tempered Clavier" give a hint of what the ending is like.

The Book

Soho Press
May 1, 2009
1569475741 / 978-1569475744
More at
NOTE: Explicit Sex

The Reviewer

Willie Elliott
Reviewed 2009
© 2009