Barbara Quick re-creates eighteenth-century Venice at the height of its splendor and decadence. A story of longing and intrigue, half-told truths and toxic lies, Vivaldi's Virgins unfolds through the eyes of Anna Maria dal Violin, one of the elite musicians cloistered in the foundling home where Antonio Vivaldiknown as the Red Priest of Veniceis maestro and composer.
Fourteen-year-old Anna Maria, abandoned at the Ospedale della Pietà as an infant, is determined to find out who she is and where she came from. Her quest takes her beyond the cloister walls into the complex tapestry of Venetian society; from the impoverished alleyways of the Jewish Ghetto to a masked ball in the company of a king; from the passionate communal life of adolescent girls competing for their maestro's favor to the larger-than-life world of music and spectacle that kept the citizens of a dying republic in thrall. In this world, where for fully half the year the entire city is masked and cloaked in the anonymity of Carnival, nothing is as it appears to be.
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"Anna Maria's quest to discover her identity is the centerpiece, though readers may find it less intriguing than the other story lines .... It's a noble effort that misses a few high notes." - PW.
"Quick has chosen a fascinating backdrop. Her novel shimmers with details about music and Venice in the early 1700s, as well as life within the Pieta. Plotting is less successful, but readers won't mind." - Booklist.
"The rich tapestry of Venice unfolds before us so that we can take in all the decadence and excitement of La Serenissima in its last great era." - Library Journal.
"Like Tracy Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring (HarperCollins, 1999), this book has great appeal, especially for teenage girls; it also offers much to those readers interested in the composer and his influence on Venetian society in the early 1700s." - School Library Journal.
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This is Quick's second novel following Northern Edge, she is also the author of YA novel A Golden Web (2010). As of 2011, Vivaldi's Virgins has been translated into 14 languages. Quick lives in the Wine Country of Northern California with her husband, Wayne Roden, who is a violist with the San Francisco Symphony. Her son, Julian, is a student at Humboldt State University. More information at http://www.barbaraquick.com.
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