Paperbacks: Hungarian dances, by Jessica Duchen

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The Independent Culture

Like a stuffed palacsinta pancake, Duchen's novel of music and memory bulges with fruity treats. A rail crash in London forces Hungarian-descended violinist Karina, married to a stuffed-shirt lawyer, to rethink her life.

Enter the tale of grandma Mimi, also a violinist, and her Gypsy family, as Budapest suffers under the Nazi and Stalinist yokes. Karina, meanwhile, recovers her roots and her rhythms in a saga whose passion for music, Hungary and history sings out on every page.