I'm not sure what I expected from this book, but this was not it. None of the characters were particularly likeable, in the past or in the present of the story. The unpleasant characters were the biggest downfall of this book. The story was confusing and strange, and, while the stories were about how the violin came to be where it was, it didn't feel like the Stradivarius played a very important role. It could almost have been an valuable painting and the story would not have been effected very much. There was also a lot of sex, and sometimes the sex had a purpose in the story, but a lot of the time it didn't. The book was presented as a contemporary story, but some of the characters had weird magical/voodoo-like powers, and for some reason one of them kept going on about how she was immortal and could not die, but wanted to be able to die one day. This was a really weird book, and it didn't really fit my taste in books, even if there was a Stradivarius violin.