Saturday, November 6, 2010

Review - Mozart's Sister by Nancy Moser

4 of 5 stars
I purchased this book from Amazon during a promotional sale.

MOZART'S SISTER is a beautifully told story from Nannerl Mozart's viewpoint, the long forgotten older sister of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  The story propels the reader back in time and gives us a sneak peak of what life was like for a female during the 18th century.  Unfortunately, it's not an easy or charmed life and Nannerl learns early on that being a girl is a severe strike against her, no matter what her musical talent.  Her father, Leopold, constantly promotes her brother, Wolfgang, a brilliant child prodigy, leaving Nannerl on the sidelines.  To her friends and neighbors in Saltzburg, she lives an exciting life - touring through Europe and England - but the constant neglect she suffers at her father's hands becomes almost too much for the young girl to bear.  The heartache and resentment she feels threaten to overwhelm her, but she has no choice in the direction her life will take.  Leopold rules the family with an iron fist and there is no disputing his decisions.  Nannerl is constantly warring with herself  --her faith in God's plan for her and her obedience to her father -- versus her own desires to become a famous musician in her own right.  The book chronicles 30 years of her life and throughout it, the decisions and actions of her father and brother have a profound effect on her.  

The author does an excellent job of keeping the story historically correct whenever possible because of the wealth of Leopold's letters that have survived.  If you're looking for a glimpse of what it must have been like to live in the shadow of genius, this book fits the bill.  I have no hesitation in recommending this book.