With an "astute sense of musical form and a wonderful sense of passion" (New York Times Book Review), master storyteller Margriet de Moor, one of Europe's foremost novelists, once again brings us a richly imagined and highly original tale of passion and jealousy.
The unnamed narrator, a young musicologist, meets and befriends the famous blind music critic Marius van Vlooten. Their first encounter is on an airplane en route to a master class in Bordeaux, where the narrator introduces Marius to Suzanna, the pretty first violinist of a string quartet there to perform JanAcek's Kreutzer Sonata. From this chance meeting, a passionate love affair soon develops between Marius and Suzanna. They become engaged and marry.
A series of subsequent conversations between Marius and the narrator reveals the truth behind Marius's blindness: when he was a young student, he had fallen madly in love with a girl who spurned him. Despairing, he tried to commit suicide, but succeeded only in blinding himself. Now, ten years later, Marius is prey to another terrible dilemma: he loves Suzanna desperately, but, strongly suspecting she has a lover, becomes insanely jealous. His suspicions and his past draw him—and the reader—into a dramatic and tense Hitchcockian vertigo, where the tragedy plays itself out.
This subtly constructed novel evokes powerful emotions through what the characters see and don't see, but mostly through what they hear—the language of music.
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