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(Author’s note: A brief outline of what I hope will either be novel four or novel five.)

Worldwide gender oppression, lives spent regarded as nothing more than chattel.

A child musical prodigy, her gender at odds with the clear social tenets specifying who leads and who follows, gained training because her mother worked in an elite school and possessed some performing arts ability.

Her college instructors insisted she had no contemporary or historical peer. The student had one other thing in her repertoire, social activism. In her valedictory speech, she condemned the government and earned an immediate rebuke. It banned her performances at all public venues and scrutinised her activities.

The young woman falls in love, her partner a reluctant revolutionary. Within 3 years, the musician is a significant threat to government stability, the likely leader of any new government by popular acclamation.

On a lazy day spent reading and napping, government forces raid their flat. A message arrives the next day informing only of the musician’s official time of death.

Partner ploughs on, overcoming loss and an addiction that trapped her as she tried to cope. Conditions worsen. An incident triggers revolt. Partner leads, her hands bloodied from necessity, in order to save other lives.

In another family in another place, a father struggles against himself.  Music claws at his soul and gnaws its way through, leaving him increasingly dysfunctional. He seeks treatment for the incurable. His life combusts and evolves in spectacular fashion, an incident hushed and pursued by a very curious government.

Fifteen years after the loss of the musician, her partner, now a world revered hero and leader, uncovers details that send her on a mad quest across an unimaginable distance.