Javier Marias' prize-winning novel follows the birth and death of a passion told in retrospect.
A tenor known as 'the Lion of Naples' remembers a time when he travelled to Madrid to star in a production of Verdi's Otello. In the vibrant city his life is insular and routine, a daily cycle of rehearsals and hotel meals. That is, until he meets a strange trio and is incorporated into their group. Manur is a Flemish banker who employs a secretary, Dato, as a daily companion for his beautiful wife, Natalia. They begin to spend their days together, three inseparable friends, and yet as the friendship develops, Dato increasingly finds himself consumed by Natalia's unattainable beauty. And so passion and power frame this sophisticated, and at time perverse, comedy of manners.