A stirring novel of love and music inspired by the life of pianist Maria-Theresa von Paradis, a blind virtuoso who was a contemporary of Mozart and Salieri Maria-Theresa von Paradis, the only daughter of the secretary of the empress of Austria, was an exceptionally gifted child. By the age of seventeen, she was a full-fledged virtuoso, playing for the royal family, acclaimed for her beauty and talent . . . and because she was blind. Her father, unable to accept her condition despite her soaring musical gifts, enlists the help of Franz Anton Mesmer, the forerunner of the modern practice of hypnotism, where Maria-Theresa discovers the passions and emotions from which her blindness had previously protected her. In the tradition of "Sleeping with Schubert" and "The""Cellist of Sarajevo, "the novel is a moving portrait of courage, loss, the elation of first love--and the pain of lost innocence.