* Finalist for the Washington State Book Award
You would have never recognized the Dino I lived with in the books that had been written about him before the “incident”. No one had a clue. No one seemed to see what was coming.
Seventeen-year-old Cassie Morgan has a secret: she’s living with a time bomb (A.K.A., her stepfather, Dino Cavalli). To the public, Dino is a world-renowned violin player and composer. To Cassie, he’s an erratic, self-centered bully. Dino has always been difficult, but as he prepares for his comeback concert, something in him begins to shift. He seems more high-strung than ever, set off by any little thing. He stops sleeping, starts chain-smoking. And he grows increasingly paranoid, saying things that Cassie is desperate to make sense of, but can’t. So she does what she thinks she must: she tries to hide his behavior from the outside world. Before, she was angry. Now, she is afraid.
Enter Ian Waters: A brilliant young violinist, and Dino’s first-ever student. The minute Cassie lays eyes on Ian she knows she’s doomed. She tries everything to keep away from him, but is drawn to him in a way she’s never felt before. It should be easy. It should be beautiful. It is not. Cassie thought she understood that love could bring pain. But this union will have consequences she could not have imagined.
As the novel crashes through two irreparable events and speeds toward its powerful end, one thing becomes clear: in the world of insanity, nothing is sacred. Not talent, not spirit, not love.
Deb Caletti has written a devastating and gorgeously crafted novel that brings into stark relief the place where genius, madness, and passion collide.