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Beware of putting someone on a pedestal - it's t good for them, it's good for you. Is that what Antoine has been doing for Valentine? The English photographer would dearly love to intervene but he is only a stranger observing from the side lines and those two have got all doors and windows shut against outside voices. There is discordant music drawing closer but it seems Christelle and the stranger are the only people who hear it. Pedestals make for dizzy heights and there is often a long way for somebody to fall. And yes, the shambolic stranger feels himself being drawn into that music, fascinated but reluctant, yet recklessly drawn - inexorably falling. There is a slideshow of dreams and shadows going on somewhere, if only he would focus. Vivid one moment, fading fast the next. Photographs and fountains, a woman's smile, visions of France and Morocco, Italy and America, so real but intangible. Something precious and tantalizing, mysteriously glistening beyond reach. This is a story of possession and illusion, the allure of beauty and the safe haven of invisibility. Of bright days on the Riviera turning into turbulent nights and people picking up the pieces, trying to make sense of an emotional game of cat's-cradle - of rollercoasters in the dark trying to get back out into the light. It concerns a young couple full of promise, but a couple dancing ever closer to a vortex unable, or unwilling, to hear the music that sooner or later will have to be faced. Downwind of Music is a vel in which people play fast and loose with fate - ultimately it's a tale of love and fear.
Novelist Pat Cavan McGrath was born May 24 1954 in Nottingham, England. He is the author of Daybreak, People In The Crowd, Stray Cats From A Wayward World, The Green Leaves of Nottingham and Downwind of Music.