On the eve of her wedding, Rose Lorenzo is handed a ticket to the opera at Covent Garden by an eccentric stranger. The opera is Wagner's Tristan und Isolde.Listening to Wagner's ecstatic, deeply erotic music, Rose realizes that if she goes ahead with her sensible marriage to suitable Martin, everything she has heard in this music will be lost to her forever.
She cancels her wedding and agrees to drive Otto and his equally eccentric twin sister, Eva, on an operatic road trip to the great theatres of Europe. As they drive across a snowbound continent from La Scala in Milan to Venice to King Ludwig's castles in Bavaria, Rose meets and falls in love with Leo dalla Vigna - the greatest operatic bass in the world but a lonely, driven man still inextricably tied to his elusive and unstable wife who lives alone in their villa on Lake Como.
"Unashamedly romantic...crisp and witty," Hilary Mantel