Annie McDee, alone after the disintegration of her long-term relationship and trapped in a dead-end job, is searching for a present for her unsuitable lover in a neglected secondhand shop. Within the jumble of junk and tack, a grimy painting catches her eye. Leaving the store with the picture after spending her meagre savings, she prepares an elaborate dinner for two - only to be stood up, the gift gathering dust on her mantelpiece.
"A good read but a terrible female narrator"
Beautiful, romantic, and spirited, Pannonica, known as Nica, named after her father’s favorite moth, was born in 1913 to extraordinary, eccentric privilege and a storied history. As a debutante, she was taught to fly by a saxophonist and introduced to jazz by her brother Victor; she married Baron Jules de Koenigswarter, settled in a château in France and had five children. In the early 1950s Nica heard "’Round Midnight" by the jazz pianist and composer Thelonious Monk and, as if under a powerful spell, abandoned her marriage and moved to New York to find him....
She seemed to have it all: children, a handsome husband and a trust fund. But in the early 1950s Nica Rotschild heard 'Round Midnight' by the jazz legend Thelonious Monk; the music overtook her like a magic spell, and she abandoned her marriage to go and find him. She was shunned by society but the musicians gave her friendship. She gave them material and emotional support; her convertible Bentley was a familiar sight outside the clubs, her notoriety was sealed when Charlie Parker died in her apartment.