What if all our lives were pieces of music? With alternating passages; fast, slow, melancholic, joyful. We make friends with those in the same key and fall out with those who aren’t.
And what does music communicate? Might it speak to us, literally?
For Edith, a teenager in 1930s rural England whose whole life has been dictated by a backwards family forcing her into marriage with the sweet-eyed but boring Gabriel, music is an escape.
But her sensitivity towards it, her love of it, makes her special in a way she could never have believed. She is the only person able to understand the mute violinist as he speaks through his violin, and becomes wildly obsessed with his mythical beauty, to the point she thinks she has invented him and his voice. Through him, she learns to hear the trees and woodland creatures who follow him about everywhere.
Declared insane, hearing voices no one else can hear, her family puts her in an asylum. Here she begins to unravel the truth about the silent violinist and his siren twin who is stealing souls, crushing their songs. Unknowingly, she is part of an ancient battle between the Composer and Decomposer for control of the Songbirds in the mirror realm, the place our lives are sung. The situation becomes urgent when one of the siren’s likely victims is Gabriel’s sister Elizabeth: Edith must escape the asylum to help the violinist destroy the siren, reaching a climax as she fights against his powerful seduction.