Two women, Mahsa and Katherine both develop a love of jazz. Mahsa grows up under the care of an orthodox uncle in Pakistan after her parents are murdered by her mother’s brothers for her marriage to an American. When he fears the brothers will return from Afghanistan to murder Mahsa too, Uncle sends her to Montreal to study. This is her first taste of freedom since her parents’ deaths and she begins to explore the love of music she’d shared with her devoted parents.
When Katherine’s Chinese father returns to China to his first wife, she is brought up by her mother and ridiculed for her mixed heritage. She hides away and practises the piano for hours until, like Mahsa, her talent shines through.
Finally, the pair meet in New York to form a deep connection, but their lives are anything but fulfilled. Restrictions tighten around Mahsa, and Katherine’s love for T who is seldom there for their growing family leave her struggling to make ends meet. Intertwined with their love of music, this novel explores the lives of these women grappling to hang on to a future in music while caring for their children.