It all starts with the death of Martijn van Vliet's wife. His grief-stricken young daughter, Lea, cuts herself off from the world, right up until the day that she hears a snatch of Bach being played on a violin by a busker. Transfixed by the sweet melody, she emerges from her mourning, vowing to learn the instrument. Lea's all-consuming passion is matched by talent, and she becomes one of the finest players in the country - but as her fame blossoms, her relationship with her father only withers. Desperate to hold on to Lea, Martijn is driven to commit an act that threatens to destroy both him and his daughter.
Pascal Mercier was born in 1944 in Bern, Switzerland, and currently lives in Berlin, where he is a professor of philosophy. Shaun Whiteside is a Northern Irish translator of French, Dutch, German, and Italian literature.