Narrated By: Elisabeth Rodgers
Duration: 14 hours
What to expect
This remarkable novel immerses us in the lives of two women in a small upstate New York town: Frances Thorn, who waits tables, despite her privileged background, and raises her twin daughters without even a memory of their father; and Helle Ten Brix, an elderly Danish composer. At the heart of the two women’s friendship is a Hans Christian Andersen tale about a prideful girl (the subject of Helle’s final opera) who is damned for using a precarious loaf of bread, intended as a gift for her parents, as a stepping stone.
The opera, left unfinished at Helle’s death, is willed, along with the rest of Helle’s music, to Frances. From this curious legacy, Frances must not only unravel the mysteries of the composer’s life and work but also confront the fateful love triangle into which she and Helle had been drawn.
Fiction: general and literary
Listen to a sample
“Artifice and reality clash, then merge, in this strange and visionary novel.”