Thursday, October 26, 2006
Nancy Moser's Mozart's Sister ~ Reviewed
By Nancy Moser
Published by Bethany House
Young Nannerl Mozart's life seems to be the stuff of fairy tales--traveling far and wide, performing with little brother Wolfgang before kings and queens. But behind the glamour lurk hardships, illness, and constant financial worries. Their father, Leopold, is driven to bring his son's genius to the attention of the world. But what of Nannerl's talent and aspirations? And what of the man she loves? Readers will be captivated by the sometimes heartrending--and ultimately inspiring--story of a woman who struggles with her dreams and her faith in a world where a woman's place was at home.
The opening scene pulled me into the story, whetting my appetite for more. I thought the author's use of different words from music composition to describe each stage of Nannerl's life incredibly genius.
The author's attention to culture and detail created a fascination in me for that era. I was there. I also found the Mozart family's eccentricities interesting. As the story continued I found myself empathizing with Nannerl.
A few times I wish she'd made better choices for herself, but since this was based on her actual life, the author didn't have much liberty there. I thoroughly enjoyed being drawn into that portion of European history with all of its sad realities. More people died than lived, especially children and infants. And the horrid practices of medical science at the time made me cringe as I read about them.
I appreciated the author's obvious research into the way things were for women in the late 18th century. My heart ached for Nannerl as she continued to be the obedient child despite the consequences. I loved her epiphany when she realized that Wolfie did what he wanted and still managed to do well with his life, and she denied herself her own desires and wishes only to be disappointed in the end. I ached for her loss of love, her desire to please her family at her own expense, yet I found it very realistic. The author made me care about this woman born so long ago.
At first I wasn't sure I'd like the ending because of circumstances I shall not mention or it would be a spoiler, but let me just say that I ended up feeling good about the way the author concluded the story of Nannerl Mozart's life. That made me feel much better when I closed the book. I could not have made some of the sacrifices Nannerl made and applaud the author for bringing insight into the times Nannerl was forced to live in. Wonderful story, heartwrenching on several occasions, but thoroughly enjoyable. I adored every page and am thoroughly impressed with the author's use of the first person point of view. I often failed to notice and felt as if I were the heroine in the story. For that I give the author a hearty, bravo!
Reviewed by Michelle Sutton (pen name)
"Writing truth into fiction"
Great Beginnings finalist 2005