As she prepares dinner for her husband andtheir extended family, Suzanne hears on the radio that a jetliner has crashed and her lover is dead. Alex Elling was a renowned orchestra conductor. Suzanne is a concert violist, long unsatisfied withher marriage to a composer whose music turns emotion into thought. Now, more alone than she’s ever been, she must grieve secretly.
But as complex as that effort is, it pales with the arrival of Alex’s widow, who blackmails her into completingthe score for Alex’s unfinished viola concerto. As Suzanne struggles to keep her double life a secret from her husband, from her best friend,and from the other members of her quartet, sheis consumed by memories of a rich love affair saturated with music. Increasingly manipulated byher lover’s widow and tormented by the concerto’smany layers, Suzanne realizes she may lose everything she’s spent her life working for. A story of love, loss, sex, class, and betrayal, this psychologically compelling novel exploresthe ways that artists’ lives and work interact, thenature of relationships among women as friends and competitors, and what it means to make a lifeof art.