“You know, to me, a violin and a person are alike. We keep inside the reverberations of the most important people who touch us. And the music we make lives after us.”
Imagine you are holding a violin made in 1750. Not a prestigious Amati or Stradivarius but a special one-off commission by a workaday luthier called John Johnson in his small workshop in Cheapside, London. You think about its history of more than a quarter of a millennium.
Who made it and why? Who has owned it? Played it? What celebrated characters might have heard it? How was it passed down, hand to hand, and how did its owners’ lives interlink? Holding it you might even muse on the transience of life against the durability of the instrument and the music it has played.
This is the story of that violin. It is taken on an incredible journey through history and is passed to a variety of characters including a Georgian libertine, a young French female virtuoso, a philanthropic collector, an illiterate labourer, a heroic WW1 flyer and a young German girl who survives the Holocaust. After a series of coincidences the story of the violin comes full circle in a touching and unexpected denouement.
The Violin is the perfect read for fans of historical fiction, or music lovers. It will transport you through time, pull on your heart strings and leave you spellbound.