From the author of The Foreign Student (Random House, 1988) comes an elegant novel of socially unacceptable love, friendship, and non-resignation
Clara is a headstrong but self-doubting twenty-year old professional violinist playing with the Lucerne Symphony. From her chair in the third row, she watches soloists come and go, mechanically going through the motions of her art even as she tries to heal herself from the pain of a recent romantic break-up. At the daily pause between rehearsals she has her routine: a walk to her special bench at the edge of the lake where she eats her lunch. But in a vexing challenge to her fragile sense of order, when Clara approaches her bench one day, she notices that someone is sitting on the other side.
It’s a twelve year-old boy named Franz. Their exchange bears a resemblance to that of the boy and the aviator in The Little Prince, as one reviewer suggests, from such different planets do they seem. The encounter will change Clara’s life, but not right away. It first has the effect of awakening her and she sets off for London to pursue new artistic and professional goals. For though he may have inspired her, Franz is not someone she ever expected to see again. When they meet again in Boston ten years later however, a passionate love is born.