Between the simple melody of running her violin shop and the full-blown orchestra of her romantic interludes in Paris with David, her devoted partner of eight years, Grace Atherton has always set her life to music.
Her world revolves entirely around David, for Grace’s own secrets have kept everyone else at bay. Until, suddenly and shockingly, one act tips Grace’s life upside down, and the music seems to stop.
It takes a vivacious old man and a straight-talking teenager to kickstart a new chapter for Grace. In the process, she learns that she is not as alone in the world as she had once thought, that no mistake is insurmountable, and that the quiet moments in life can be something to shout about …
I think the blurb tells you all you need to need to know, about the underlying story line and I’m loath to say much more for fear of spoiling what is a moving story of heartbreak, friendship and the resilience of the human spirit.
As well as the intriguing relationship between Grace and David, which on its own will have you reading to uncover the truth, there is an unfolding back story of Grace’s musical past and a contemporary plot line involving the feisty Nadia and the wonderful Mr Williams. What draws them altogether is Grace’s shop where she sells, repairs and makes violas and violins. The difference between the two you will discover for yourself and I found myself far more fascinated than I expected by the workings and construction of the instruments she loves. While Grace lacks confidence in performing, she has no such reservations about her ability to make what she hopes to be a prize-winning ‘cello.
As a perfect foil to Grace is her feisty and troubled teenage assistant Nadia. While their relationship is not without problems, they are balanced by the wisdom and kindness of their elderly customer, and fellow player Mr Williams. Watching their friendship develop was lovely and as it grew in strength gave Grace the confidence to question and challenge other aspects of her life, both past and present.
I’m not saying too much about David, for me, the best part of his character was the fact he lived in Paris. It gave us the opportunity to stroll the boulevards, experience the restaurants and enjoy the ambience that was expertly conjured up.
The Grace we first encounter is a damaged character, and at times her naivety and lack of confidence can be frustrating, but the Grace we leave behind is a very different woman, and all the better for it. This is a story that slowly draws you in and has the ability to shock with its drama, but will ultimately leave you uplifted and contented.
Many thanks to the publisher for an advance copy to enable this review. The book is published in hardback and e-book format on 10th January.