Abigail is a famous violinist, known for her beauty and theatrical performance, but after a love affair ends badly she slashes her wrists and effectively puts an end to her violin playing career. After the end of a long affair with a married man who was also involved in her professional life Abigail slashes her wrists and damages them to the point where she will not be able to play the violin at a professional level again. She recuperates at the remote holiday home of a friend and gradually begins to think about her career.
The opportunity arises to be conductor to an orchestra in the countryside as their beloved leader is retiring. Abby takes the job and heads back to the English countryside. The orchestra are reluctant to accept a replacement for their much adored leader, and give Abby a hard time to begin with, playing tricks and messing about in practices. Abby's dramatic temper leads to lots of tantrums and fights, especially with the leader of the horn section, Viking.
Marcus is a piano player that joins the orchestra to play a solo part at a concert, and he and Abby become friends, eventually starting a relationship. Flora, a friend of Marcus's also joins the orchestra to sing, and forms a friendship with Abby. Flora is popular with the orchestra, and her friendship with Abby, as well as Abby learning to control her temper help the orchestra to accept their new leader.
Throughout this Abby is struggling with her growing attraction to Viking; they fight a lot and there is obvious sexual tension between them, but she adores Marcus and so feels torn. Marcus is also struggling, he is fighting his attraction to a male ballet dancer who performed alongside himů..
Marcus eventually confesses his doubts about his sexuality to Abby, who feels betrayed initially but after talking to Flora she comes round, although still feels lonely with everyone else happily coupled up.
Things culminate on a tour; the male members of the orchestra have a bet; whoever manages to bed Abby gets the whole pool of money, and they are all having a go for various reasons of their own. Viking is about to win, but feeling guilty about it and realizing his growing feelings for Abby he is about to confess when she finds out for herself and runs off, devastated.
Viking eventually finds her and serenades her across a lake, before confessing his feelings and begging forgiveness, which Abby happily gives.
Best part of story, including ending:
I enjoyed the detailed description of the orchestra, and the way they pulled together like a family.
Best scene in story:
I love the scene where Viking serenades Abby, very romantic!
Opinion about the main character:
Abby behaves like a spoiled brat some of the time, making it hard to like her.