A strange woman, eccentrically dressed, stands at Berne's central station, playing a Bach partita on her violin. An eight-year-old girl, walking past with her father, is magically attracted by the music and listens, spellbound. In this instant, Lea van Vliet knows that she too must become a violinist. After her mother's death, the child had shut herself off completely. Within weeks Lea shows extraordinary musical prowess, and at first her father is overjoyed that she has found a means of self-expression. Yet his happiness is short-lived. As Lea goes from success to success, her father spirals ever more deeply into loneliness and depression. In a last, desperate attempt to regain his daughter's love and affection, he becomes entangled in a crime that will ruin not only his own reputation.
Pascal Mercier's book asks if we are really able to shape the course of our lives. Once again, he succeeds in intertwining philosophical reflection, psychological understanding and narrative virtuosity into a unique and thrilling story.