Fire Music


by Connie Hampton Connally

What’s Fire Music about?
It’s about music and war, about love and pain, and ultimately about redemption. Here’s a description of the story:

Antal Varga, a Budapest violinist, is 78 years old when a young American stranger places a yellowed music sheet into his hands. With shock he recognizes his own teenage handwriting, for he himself wrote this piece in 1945, when his city was under siege. Desperate to talk with this American woman, Varga enlists his grandson Kristóf to translate; and he finds that the woman, Lisa, shares his family’s painful heritage.

Now his grandson and this young American press him for the story behind the music, and especially behind its shattered ending. For decades he’s hidden this story of war, love, jealousy and loss. Can he bear to tell it now? Can they bear to hear it?

Cautiously Varga, Kristóf and Lisa open the music and its hard secrets, hoping that although pain has extended over generations, perhaps love will extend further still.

Is it an historical novel?
Part of it is historical. The story moves back and forth between 1944-45, during the World War II siege of Budapest, and two generations later, in 2006-07.

Is Fire Music a sequel to The Songs We Hide?
No, but it’s related. Fire Music’s main character, Antal Varga, is the older brother of Katalin in The Songs We Hide. Part of Fire Music takes place six years before The Songs We Hide, and part of it takes place many years later.

Is Fire Music set in Hungary?
Yes, most of it is. But some chapters are set in my own city—Tacoma, Washington.

Fire Music