Thursday, April 10, 2014

Review: Vienna Nocturne

Vienna Nocturne by Vivien Shotwell. Anna Storace is a talented young English singer, classically trained by an Italian castrato. When she began her career, she quickly rocketed to fame as a beautiful young Englishwoman in Italy; while she was prepared musically, emotionally she wasn’t ready to move into the sophisticated and fickle world of professional musicians. After a disastrous love affair, she moves to Vienna and meets Mozart, already a married father. The attraction between the two is strengthened by their professional relationship, and they soon begin an affair. Shotwell follows historical accounts where they are available, so she is constrained by those outlines; an affair between the two was speculated but never proven.

I had looked forward to reading this book, but it fell short for me. The dialogue always seemed unnatural, people seemed to take actions without adequate motivation, and many characters didn’t seem real. I realize that it’s tough to work within the limits of actual historical events, but in this case, it was the writing style more than the historical situation that I wasn’t taken with. 2.5/5* 

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