A young Jewish violinist from Holland falls hopelessly in love with an Irish painter called Gael. She leaves her aristocratic husband in Paris, marries Gael and moves to Ireland, where they have one son. But her refined upper-class background hasn't prepared her for the poverty of life with Gael, nor for his brutish behaviour. She also encounters anti-Semitic sentiments in Ireland, and struggles to reconcile this with her past, and that of her parents in particular, who are Holocaust survivors. Her desperate attempts to maintain a semblance of normal family life while still pursuing her career become more and more impossible as Gael grows increasingly delusional and violent. This is at once a moving love story and a brutal portrayal of a destructive marriage that comes to a devastating end.
Judith Mok was born in the artists' colony of Bergen in the Netherlands. She studied singing at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague, and at 21 became a professional soprano. She has performed worldwide and has produced numerous recordings. She has published three collections of poetry and two novels in Dutch, and writes regularly for the Sunday Independent. She is currently touring with her one-woman show based on the life of Molly Bloom. This is her first novel written in English. She lives in Dublin.