Book review: Gone: A Girl, A Violin, A Life Unstrung

The theft of a €1.4m Stradivarius violin from Pret a Manger at Euston Station in London threw its owner, Korean-born child prodigy and violin genius Min Kym, into the spotlight in 2010. However, her suffering continued long after the headlines had died down.

Book review: Gone: A Girl, A Violin, A Life Unstrung

Min Kym

Viking, hb, €17.65 (ebook €11.75)

In this heartfelt memoir, the acclaimed international classical violinist recalls her years as a child prodigy from a traditional Korean family growing up in the UK whose incredible talent was discovered at the age of six.

However, it’s the description of the intense, loving relationship she has with her beloved Strad which makes this story come alive, how it fitted her body, how she felt like she was putting on Cinderella’s slipper, how it bore marks of vulnerability, rather like its owner.

Only then can the reader realise that the theft of that violin was so much more than a physical, financial matter.

It was recovered nearly three years later, but they were to be only briefly reunited.

This fascinating true story is one from the heart. Have the tissues ready.

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