The main character is the genius instrument repairwoman Cornelia Bobo Warshaw, but the story focuses more on the lives of her clients and the often heart-wrenching tales behind their instruments.
This work provides examples of:
- Artificial Limbs: Cornelia has an artificial leg.
- Child Prodigy: Even as child Cornelia was a genius at repairs. Of weapons, that is.
- Dark and Troubled Past: Many of Cornelia's customers. As well as Cornel herself.
- Former Teen Rebel: Father Thomas.
- Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Each miniature story arc has the title: Track XX, [Name of Song].
- Mama Bear: Hera (from chapter 26) definitely shows these tendencies towards the children of the pediatric ward.
- MayDecember Romance: Monica (the woman from chapter 24) and her husband are twelve years apart.
- Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Allan's and Rachel's parents had one.
- Precocious Crush: Katherine (the girl in chapter 22) develops one on Father Thomas after she found out he used to be a rocker.
- Ship Tease: Between Cornelia and Allan.
- Shipper on Deck: Rachel for Cornelia and Allan.
- Shown Their Work: The authors put a lot of work into the depiction of the instruments, down to finding the kind of trumpet used by Nazis.