Christine (Miami FL)
Despite the lapse of centuries, a woman's struggle to stay true to her own sacred nature is timeless. Rita Charbonnier's Mozart's Sister is a love story: with music, with family, with the search for one's beloved, and, ultimately, with one's self.
I found the story very modern, current and satisfying. Book clubs, and readers of varying ages should find this book appealing, depending on their various stages of the same journey. The whipped cream AND the cherry is that the basic facts in this story are true and there very well must have been the knotty issues embraced in this lovely read.
Good historical fiction in my book. (Now I want to dig out what more is written about this woman.)
Laura (Wheeling IL)
This historical fiction is of high interest as the subject is one that is not well known. Yet the writing does not allow the reader to feel the richness of that era of history. We see little of the history of the times, save for the music. And even that is sketchy. Mozart is depicted as a spoiled child/boy/man and his brilliance is masked in silly episodes. Yet I wanted to keep reading as the story line drew me in. At times, though, I felt that I was reading someone's thesis paper with a little action thrown in. I would recommend this book for a beach read but little else.
Anna (Auburn AL)
Should appeal to a variety of book clubs
Charbonnier's first attempt at a novel is a good, if somewhat uneven one. The unevenness may be more a function of the translation than of the author's art and skill. In spite of that, I enjoyed the book very much and found the events described to be faithful to what we know of the events of "Nannerl's" life. The book should appeal to a wide variety of book clubs, especially those interested in music and/or women's issues.
Jan (Saratoga CA)
Mozart's Sister - Lacking in depth
The book was generally well written, but got a bit boorish. Because I knew nothing of Nannerl Mozart when I started the book (I didn't even know Wolfgang had a sister), I found the first half quite appealing. I like the way Charbonnier moved between the narrative and the letters. However, about midway through I tired of her constant repeating that poor Nannerl was gypped out of her own life and success by an overly chauvinistic father who forced her to give up her dreams and ambitions to help secure her brother’s rightful place in the musical world. I was hoping for more real depth into Nannerl’s life, not just a sob story.
Susan (Rutledge MO)
Not for language aficianados
I had trouble getting over (what I took to be) translation issues. Much of the language felt stilted, and I often found myself stuck on a particular word or phrase, wondering what on earth the original might have been. This did not improve the already uneven flow of the narrative. I also found the plot too melodramatic, and several of the characters too unidimensional for my taste. In its favor, there were some descriptive passages and scenes that were really lovely, and I enjoyed learning more about the historical era of the book.
Alice (Sacramento CA)
Mozart's Sister ( Lost In Translation)
I have enjoyed this book enormously, but not because of outstanding or even good writing. The characters and the story are fascinating, so those two things kept me going. I had difficulty relating to the dialogue of the young people. It seemed way too formal, too adult...but maybe they were so outstanding that they really spoke that way...or maybe the author's true version was "lost in translation".
Amanda (Omaha NE)
A book that should appeal to a wide audience!
Rita Charbonnier successfully captures the mounting tension and complexity of a Mozart opera in her new novel Mozart's Sister. For readers who enjoy looking at events through the eyes of those usually forgotten by history, Mozart's Sister should satisfy. For readers frankly uninterested in the history of classical music, the novel can still be enjoyed for its careful depiction of the constraints and alternative routes to reward women knew in the 1700s.