In a year that might be 2015 or might be 2040, a terrible flu decimates the global population.
Within a fortnight, civilisation crumbles. Twenty years later, a band of survivors, all actors and musicians called the Travelling Symphony move through their territories performing concerts and Shakespeare to the settlements that have grown up there, keeping the art and music of the past alive.
But something new is about to threaten the tentative peace of their world… Intertwining the lives of six characters, the novel moves gracefully backwards and forwards between the glittering age before the flu and the new reality that faces its survivors. If this sounds like science fiction, it almost is. But it is also a fascinating meditation on the importance of art and culture, the transient nature of the world we live in and an examination of family ties, made both by blood and by circumstance.