Elizabeth Speller's 'At Break of Day' (published in the USA as 'The First of July') is the story of four men — a cathedral musician; a shop assistant; a self-exiled New Yorker; and the son of a French blacksmith from Corbie — brought together by the Great War on 1 July 1916. The first day of the Battle of the Somme. The day the dreams of the old world died.
Here are glimpses of the music which fills the book, showing how it can sometimes underscore, and at other times undercut, the mood of the story.
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