Beautiful and mysterious, this debut novel follows a priceless violin across five decades-from WWII to Stalinist Russia to the gilded international concert halls of today-and reveals the loss, love, and secrets of the families who owned it.
A priceless violin. A family torn apart. A decision that could change everything.
Berlin, 1939. Fourteen year old Simon Horowitz is awash in a world of music. His family owns a superb collection of instruments and at its heart is his father's 1742 Guarneri de Gesu violin. But all is lost when the Nazis march across Europe and Simon and his father and brother are sent to Dachau. Amid unimaginable cruelty and death, Simon finds kindness from an unexpected corner, and a chance to pick up a violin again and a chance to live.
In the present day, orchestra conductor Rafael Gomez has seen much in his time on the world's stage, but he finds himself oddly inspired by the playing of an aspiring violin virtuoso, a fantastic talent who is only just fourteen. Then the boy, Daniel Horowitz, suddenly refuses to play another note, and Rafael knows he'll do anything he can to change that. When he learns the boy's family once owned a precious violin, believed to have been lost forever, Rafael thinks he might know exactly how to get Daniel playing again. In taking on the task he discovers a family story like no other that winds from World War II and Communist Russia all the way to Rafael's very own stage.