“A lively composition… The various moneyed people, their elaborately appointed living quarters and their high-wheeling lifestyle add a dash of pizzazz.”
– Kirkus Review
Paul, a French-American MBA student and classical pianist, meets Belgian law student Fiona, a cellist and orphaned Baroness, at William & Mary. Paul starts playing with her and when they perform The Swan by Camille Saint-Saëns on the occasion of William & Mary’s Charter Day, their love is abiding and they agree to marry after graduation to share a life of making music together. But Fiona’s reactionary godparents, who raised her after her parents perished in a storm sailing at sea when she was two, object to her marrying Paul and command her to come back home to Brussels.
Paul visits her in Brussels, but Fiona feels obliged to break their relationship because her godfather reminded her of the wishes of her deceased parents she marry into her Belgian social circle and she concedes, unaware of her godfather’s real intentions. Heartbroken, Paul leaves for Geneva to start his banking career, but gets entangled in a dramatic banking fraud and is forced to return to the USA. There he finds Fiona physically and psychologically abused and on the verge of utter despair.