Kathy (Hamilton MT)
I was hoping for greatness
I loved the IDEA of this book, and hoped it would reach the same heights of warmth, impact, and believability as Tracy Chevalier’s Girl With a Pearl Earring or Philippa Gregory’s The Other Boleyn Girl. Unfortunately, Charbonnier’s stiff, third-person prose kept me at too great a distance from the mind and heart of the enigmatic Nannerl. I think Charbonnier could have better connected with her readers by including a map of the story’s geography, for instance, and a foreword citing extant letters, family histories, palace documents, etc. as anchors upon which her tale was spun. For me, confidence that this narrative was soundly researched and factually based would have added a credible dimension to this sometimes disjointed and imperfect book. As an early reader, I couldn’t help wishing that one final pass by a brilliant editor could have tightened this novel for a more successful and sympathetic public run, and made it more fully satisfying. While Mozart’s Sister was very good in places, as outlined in other reviews -- ultimately for me, this telling fell short.
Lenora (Altoona FL)
Review of Mozart's Sister
A book about a dysfunctional family, scandals, true love and music. Lots and lots of music. Sad that women have come so far and how little has changed.
Erica (Chicago IL)
Mozart's Sister by Rita Charbonnier
Mozart's Sister is an excellent portrayal of the frustrations of an extremely talented, artistic and intelligent woman, living at a time when women's contributions were ignored and only men's gifts were touted. As the sister of the prodigy, Wolfgang Mozart, Nannerl was cast in the shadows and allowed little other than a supporting role. Charbonnier has brought a character, given a minor role in history, to life. She shows the dysfunctional Mozart family in a manner different from other authors, who put Wolfgang in the limelight and mention Nannerl only in passing, and shows the true villainy of Leopold.
Glenn (Las Vegas NV)
For anyone with an interest in music, history or just a touching story about family, desire, opportunities lost, opportunities gained. A wonderful book that expertly blends fact and fiction to provide a window into an historic family and to create characters that linger long after the final page is read.
Shirley (Norco LA)
Mozart's Sister Comes Alive
What an engaging story of familiar characters. We get an insiders' view of the dysfunctional dynamics of the Mozart Family. It certainly wasn't advantageous to be born female, although ultimately poor Wolfgang doesn't benefit emotionally from his father's indulgence. At its core, this is a story of how the unconditional love of others can lead a character to bloom. The character development is well done. The main chacter becomes alive and the reader is drawn into her tale.
Stephanie (Prattville AL)
Complex female character
Part history, part romance, part coming-of-age, Mozart's Sister describes the difficulty Nannerl has growing up in the shadow of her larger-than-life younger brother. Whether we sympathize with Nannerl or are frustrated with her stubbornness, we are drawn along anxious to know whether she will find happiness in herself or forever be a victim of a society that oppressed her because she was a girl. The novel has an interesting structure, some told in letters, some told in prose, and parts are given names of musical movements. The musical passages are descriptive and almost bring the music alive. I would highly recommend this novel to any reading group because there is much to discuss in the complex character of Nannerl.
Liz (Morristown NJ)
I was really looking forward to reading this book because I love historical fiction. I found this novel to be a bit boring. I prefered the first half of the book to the second. I was torn between pity and annoyance towards Nannerl when her father shunned her and set her aside to Wolfgang. It was hard for me to feel sorry for her when she was so bitter. I was glad that she renewed her passion for music at the end of the book. Overall, I probably would not have finished the book if I did not have to give a review.