Books We Love Ltd. (June 5, 2012)
My Mozart, a new release from Juliet Waldron, author of the highly acclaimed Mozart’s Wife (available in ebook exclusively on Kindle)
Mozart was her teacher, her mentor, her rescuer–and, finally, fatally, her lover. .. At dawn, in the marble palace of a Prince, a nine-year-old sings for Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, then at the peak of his career. Always delighted by musical children, he accepts Nanina as a pupil. Gifted, intense and imaginative, she sees the great “Kapellmeister Mozart” as an avatar of Orpheus and her own, personal divinity. His lessons are irregular and playful, but the teacher/pupil bond grows strong. Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro premieres, and Nanina, now twelve, is given a solo part. For her, this is the beginning of a long stage career. For Mozart, it marks the start of his ruin. His greatest works will be composed in poverty and obscurity. During the composer’s last summer, his wife has left him. Chronically in debt and suffering the emotional isolation of genius, he takes refuge with his disreputable Volksoper friends, who want him to write a “peasant opera” for their audience. Nanina, now grown, and still in love with Mozart, is among their number. As he seeks solace among the women of the Volksoper, the charms of his young fan become increasingly alluring. No one, least of all the composer, understands the depth of her obsession or how a brief affair will permanently alter her life.
18th c. Vienna, Historical Fiction
Heat Rating: 3
REVIEW RATING: 3.5 stars
Reviewed by: Lucy Bertoldi, EBJ-Salon
Young Ann Gottlieb first met Mozart when she was nine years old- it was from that very moment that she fell in love with the great genius.
Left to the care of her father after her flimsy starlet mother deserted them, Nan was trained in the art of singing and was often given private lessons by the grand master Mozart himself. As well, Nan became his protégé after her father passed away. This was a real blessing in a way, since more than once would she have fallen prey to the wrong crowd whose plan would have been to prostitute her under the guise of lowly showgirl dancing.
Throughout, Mozart intended to ‘preserve’ the young Nan’s virginal state while helping her find work in the singing and performing arts- she would also become his Muse. For Nan though, Mozart was the center of her life, and finally both succumb to ravishing passion. Nan loved and remained faithful only to him. Throughout, we feel her innocence, devotion, genuine youth and eagerness which renders this novel magically romantic.
Beautifully written and fascinating in the way Mozart’s life was determined by his bouts of musical genius and dismay, this could be all that the book was about. However, what was elaborately described was the erotic tension ever-so present to consume their passion. And although we can empathize with Nan and her great love for this man- there was just way too much racy and explicit sexual content. That I could have done without. In a story that in itself could have stood out as a truly romantic historical love all that crudeness was totally unnecessary.
If you’re okay with elaborate sexual content and can surpass that, underneath lies a beautifully detailed story of a young girl who loved one of the greatest geniuses of all times.