‘Music to my ears…’

Hi everyone!

I’m on a really interesting blog tour today, and I am so honoured to be kicking it off! Today I will be reviewing J SS Bach by Martin Goodman!


J SS Bach is the story of three generations of women from either side of Germany’s 20th Century horror story – one side, a Jewish family from Vienna, the other linked to a ranking Nazi official at Dachau concentration camp – who suffer the consequences of what men do. Fast forward to 1990s California, and two survivors from the families meet. Rosa is a young Australian musicologist; Otto is a world-famous composer and cellist. Music and history link them. A novel of music, the Holocaust, love, and a dog. The author’s writing is a wonderland, captivating and drawing the reader in to the presented world. Time becomes no object as a literary universe unfolds and carries the reader through eighty years, where emotions are real and raw and beautifully given.


Every once in a while, you find a story that seems to have it all: drama, history, love, loss, and hope. This is one of those stories.

The author’s imagination is in full throttle as this beautifully written story comes to life. The descriptions of the characters, setting, and atmosphere is so perfectly crafted, you feel as if you are right in this story.

This is the story of a musician, as the title suggests. However, this story is so much more, with so many other events at the core of this novel. The relationships displayed create a haunting yet real phenomenon that Goodman takes to the next level. Imagine, an intricately woven story dealing with the most horrendous and brutal times history has to offer, and creating something so astonishingly beautiful, you can’t help but see history reflected through the characters’ eyes.

The complex story isn’t complicated, but more thought provoking. There are so many elements combined to create the novel as a whole, amongst different emotions the book brings to the surface; it’s sad yet hopeful, brutal yet beautiful, fast-paced yet lingering.

I think, in addition to a brilliantly written novel, the thing I would press on is what you take away from this book. It’s thought-provoking and moving and shows the best and worst sides of human nature, and sometimes, the lines are blurred.

As you’re reading, you can tell, not just the level of research, but the level of care the author has taken into telling this story wonderfully, but also right. As always, there are no spoilers in this review but I hope I have intrigued you enough to go and check it out!


I would recommend this book to a number of people. Of course, this who enjoy historical fiction, but also those who like books with a lot of drama, sadness, and the monster/angel that is human nature.

About the Author

Martin Goodman was born in Leicester, and has lived and worked in China, Qatar, the USA, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy and France. Travel forms a large part of his writing: both for strictly travel-related books and also for novels and biographies. His first novel ON BENDED KNEES was shortlisted for the Whitbread prize, and his most recent biography SUFFER AND SURVIVE won 1st Prize, Basis of Medicine in the BMA Book Awards 2008. He is the Professor of Creative Writing at the University of Hull. He lives in Hull, London and the French Pyrenees.

‘Such narrow, narrow confines we live in. Every so often, one of us primates escapes these dimensions, as Martin Goodman did. All we can do is rattle the bars and look after him as he runs into the hills. We wait for his letters home.’

~ The Los Angeles Times


Thank you to Anne Carter from Random Things Blog Tours for my wonderful copy. Thank you also to the author, Martin Goodman, and to the publisher.

How to get your hands on a copy:



Follow the author on twitter: @MartinGoodman2

Thank you for reading my review! Again, I am thrilled to be kicking off this great tour for such a brilliant book! Don’t forget to check out the rest of the tour:

JSS 4.jpg

Happy reading! Lx

Images and ‘about the author’ courtesy of Anne Carter


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