In the 1920s, in a beautiful Italian villa called Il Piacere, the playwright Galeazzo D'Ascanio lived for Celia Sands. She was his muse and his mistress, his most enduring obsession and the inspiration for his most original play. But the night before she was to perform the leading role, she disappeared.
Some sixty years later, a theatre in the grounds of Il Piacere, Alessandro D'Ascanio is preparing to stage the first performance of his grandfather's masterpiece. A promising young actress - who shares Celia's name, but not her blood - has agreed to star. She is instantly drawn to the mysteries surrounding the play, and to her compelling employer. And even though she knows she should let the past go, in the dark - in her dreams - it comes back.