Michel Hilger is a musician and the father of four boys. Adopted at the age of three, his personal origins are confused and secret - he doesn't know his date of birth or why he was given up for adoption - and they have also bequeathed him anomalies of the nervous system which make him prone to hypertension, dizziness and terrible headaches, which he has had to put up with all his life.
At the age of 42, he has his first stroke in the middle of a concert, but nevertheless manages to finish the performance of Mozart's Eine kleine Nachtmusik. A few weeks later, a second stroke leaves him at death's door and as he drifts in and out of a coma he hears the doctors discussing how to preserve his organs for donation. But Michel has no intention of dying - he is determined to live. He regains conscious to find the right-hand side of his body paralysed. His doctor recommends a standard rehabilitation programme and informs him bluntly that he will never play the viola again,
but Michel refuses to accept his illness and its repercussions. Driven by an exceptional willpower, and against the advice of everyone around him, he decides to go home and to teach himself how to move his body again as before so that he can resume his life where he left off - he will settle for nothing less.
The idea for this book arose when Gilbert Bordes, a long-standing Belfond author and also a professional maker of string instruments, met and got to know Michel Hilger. Astounded by his extraordinary destiny, he helped him to reconstruct his life story and lent his talents as an author to the writing of this book.