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Ecstasy: Book summary and reviews of Ecstasy by Mary Sharratt

Ecstasy

by Mary Sharratt

Ecstasy by Mary Sharratt X
Ecstasy by Mary Sharratt
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Book Summary

In the glittering hotbed of turn-of-the-twentieth-century Vienna, one woman's life would define and defy an era.

Gustav Klimt gave Alma her first kiss. Gustav Mahler fell in love with her at first sight and proposed only a few weeks later. Bauhaus founder Walter Gropius abandoned all reason to pursue her. Poet and novelist Franz Werfel described her as "one of the very few magical women that exist." But who was this woman who brought these most eminent of men to their knees? In Ecstasy, Mary Sharratt finally gives one of the most controversial and complex women of her time the center stage. 

Coming of age in the midst of a creative and cultural whirlwind, young, beautiful Alma Schindler yearns to make her mark as a composer. A brand-new era of possibility for women is dawning and she is determined to make the most of it. But Alma loses her heart to the great composer Gustav Mahler, nearly twenty years her senior. He demands that she give up her music as a condition for their marriage. Torn by her love and in awe of his genius, how will she remain true to herself and her artistic passion?

Part cautionary tale, part triumph of the feminist spirit, Ecstasy reveals the true Alma Mahler: composer, author, daughter, sister, mother, wife, lover, and muse.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"This winning historical novel offers an enjoyable portrait of an ambitious woman whose struggles are as relevant today as they were a century ago." - Publishers Weekly

"A novel with surefire appeal for fans of romantic women's fiction." - Booklist

"[Sharratt] has in-depth knowledge of classical music and turn-of-the-20th-century Vienna…Recommended for readers who like the peaks and valleys of nonstop drama." - Library Journal

"In Sharratt's bracing portrayal...Alma's limits seem largely self-imposed. Readers will enjoy forming their own opinions on who was really the victim here." - Kirkus

"Evocative and passionate, Ecstasy illuminates through its tempestuous and talented heroine a conundrum that resonates across the centuries: how a woman can fulfill her destiny by being both a lover and an artist." - Jenna Blum, New York Times best-selling author of Those Who Save Us and The Stormchasers

"A tender, intimate exploration of a complicated woman...I loved this inspiring story of an early feminist standing up for her art." - Meg Waite Clayton, New York Times best-selling author of The Race for Paris

"Alma Mahler's unexpected, often heartbreaking journey from muse to independence comes to vivid, dramatic life. Sharratt skillfully evokes turn-of-the-century Vienna and the musical genius of the era, returning Alma to her rightful place in history as both the inspiration to the men in her life and a gifted artist in her own right." - C.W. Gortner, best-selling author of Mademoiselle Chanel

"Mary Sharratt has more than done justice to one of the most interesting, shocking, and passionate women of the 20th century. Overflowing with life and lust, Ecstasy explores this flawed but fascinating woman." - M.J. Rose, New York Times best-selling author of The Library of Light and Shadow

"A deeply affecting portrait of the woman rumored to be the most notorious femme fatale of turn-of-the-century Vienna. Mary Sharratt's Ecstasy is as heartbreaking and seductive as Alma Mahler herself." - Kris Waldherr, author of Doomed Queens and Bad Princess

This information about Ecstasy was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Mary Sharratt Author Biography

Author Mary Sharratt is on a mission to write women back into history. Originally from Minnesota, Mary now lives in Portugal, near the beautiful medieval town of Obidos on the Silver Coast.

Her latest novel Revelations, published April 2021, is drawn from the colorful life of Margery Kempe, 15th century mystic, intrepid world traveler, and author of the first autobiography in the English language.

Her 2018 novel Ecstasy, drawn from the dramatic life of composer and life artist Alma Schindler Mahler, has been praised by NPR as "historical fiction at its best."

Mary's explorations into the hidden histories of Renaissance women compelled her to write The Dark Lady's Mask, based on the story of the ground-breaking poet, Aemilia Bassano Lanier.

Mary lived for eighteen years in the ...

... Full Biography
Author Interview
Link to Mary Sharratt's Website

Other books by Mary Sharratt at BookBrowse
  • Revelations jacket
  • Illuminations jacket

5 more...

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