Seventeen-year-old Kim is a student at one of Britain's most extraordinary institutions, Eton College-crammed with over a thousand boys and not a girl in sight. His head is full of the Falklands War and a possible army career, until the day he hears his new piano teacher, India, a beautiful but pained young woman, playing a prelude from Bach's Well-Tempered Clavier. Kim's life will never be the same again. An intensely passionate affair develops between him and his twenty-three-year-old teacher, and he wallows in the wild and unaccustomed thrill of first love. Twenty-five years on, Kim recalls that heady summer and how their fledgling relationship was so brutally snuffed out-finished off by his enemies, by the constraints of Eton, and by his own withering jealousy. Prelude is the bittersweet story of a life-changing love.
Prelude was a beautiful and heartbreaking story. It really tried to pull my heart out towards the end. While it was a slow start for me, by the end of it I was hooked and didn't want to let go.
While other student/teacher relationships in books seem to have one character taking advantage of another I didn't feel that so much in this book. I felt like they were on equal footing and were really there for each other. I never saw India as a predator and I found their relationship rather sweet. It actually seemed to me that Kim was stronger than India, I guess you could say in that way she used him, to prop herself up but it worked for me. I thought the choice to use music as a way to connect them (student to teacher) added a beautiful theme to the story.
I loved how the story was told, with Kim looked back on the events from 25 years later. It was nice having his reflections rather then just being in the moment with him. I also liked how upfront we know that this love doesn't last. And that Kim was able to admit that his own jealousy and paranoia helped end their relationship.
Overall I thought this was a beautifully told story that shows how one summer can change your life forever!
Prelude was released on May 1st!
ARC received from publisher