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In Mozart's Shadow: His Sister's Story by…

In Mozart's Shadow: His Sister's Story

by Carolyn Meyer

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This tells the story of Wolfgang Mozart's elder sister, also a talented musician. She longs to share in the fame and opportunities that her brother receives, yet lives her entire life eclipsed by his shadow.
It was interesting to learn about Mozart's flawed, dysfunctional family and his neglected sister. The book follows Nannerl Mozart's life from her childhood to her later adult years.
The writing style stiff and impersonal at times, while at the same time almost force-feeding tragedy and sadness to the reader. After awhile, it became more than annoying. It seems that Carolyn Meyer's chief attempt in this book is to relate to the reader this fact: Nannerl Mozart did not lead a happy life. The very ending of this book reads - "Tears brimmed in my eyes. I let them fall."
No happy ending. In fact, there is no happy beginning, happy middle, happy climax, or anything of the sort. It is rather depressing, yes, but that isn't the worst part of it. Even the saddest tragedies should have their high, joyous moments, or else the sorrow will seem numbed and meaningless. After all, how sad would "Romeo and Juliet"'s readers have been if they never saw how perfectly happy the two main characters were together in the first place?
Carolyn Meyer shows us only the downside of her heroine's story. As far as her fictional portrayal is concerned, her heroine had no upside at all. ( )
1 vote joririchardson | Jan 25, 2010 |
Reviewed by Harmony for TeensReadToo.com

We all know about Wolfgang Mozart, the wonderfully talented musician, but what many of us don't know is that his older sister, Nannerl, was also incredibly talented. She was, in the beginning, thought of as her brother's equivalent. They played together in concerts, sometimes in front of royalty, making money for their family. But soon, she was overshadowed by her brother, but that didn't stop her from playing.

She wanted, more than anything, to go to a prestigious music school -- but her father would not allow it and forced her to stay in boring Salzburg with her mother. IN MOZART'S SHADOW follows Nannerl from the time she and her brother begin playing throughout her entire life.

To be honest, the book dragged a bit at the beginning, but after the first fifty pages or so I felt myself being dragged into the world of Nannerl and her family. Her story is both heartbreaking and easy to relate to. Though she lived in a completely different time and led a much different life, I could feel myself understanding her actions and cheering her on. The writing was great and the voice was true to the characters, who were all very realistic.

I'd recommend this to anyone who likes reading historical fiction or who admires the Mozart family. ( )
  GeniusJen | Oct 11, 2009 |
Young Nannerl Mozart, like her younger brother Wolfgang Mozart, has been a talented musician since the time she was a small child. And it is from a young age that she is forced by an unloving and overbearing father to continuously give up her hopes and dreams for the sake of her brother. As a little girl she was allowed to perform by her father, who wanted to show off his children as child prodigies, but even then, she knew he preferred her brother.

When she is too old to be a child prodigy any longer, Nannerl must suffer and sacrifice even more due to the demands of her father, who is determined to put all his efforts into promoting his son’s career. Because she is a girl, she cannot become a famous musician, despite her great talent, and because of her father, she is prevented from studying, pursuing a position at court, or marrying the man of her choosing. Though she loves her brother, she becomes increasingly distant from him due to his career and her own unhappiness at the loss of all her dreams.

In Mozart’s Shadow is another excellent historical novel from the talented Carolyn Meyer. Once again she takes a young woman from the pages of history and brings her to life with all her feelings, hopes, and dreams. Nannerl Mozart was a talented young woman forced to sacrifice so much for her family, and hopefully this and other books about her will give her some of the fame she rightfully deserved in her own lifetime but was prevented from achieving because of her gender and the demands of her family. ( )
  rebecca191 | Oct 2, 2009 |
Nannerl Mozart was considered a musical prodigy - until her genius little brother, Wolfgang, took over the limelight. While Nannerl still loves to play and perform, her career slowly falls by the wayside and she sinks deeper and deeper into Mozart's shadow.

Nannerl's story was emotionally interesting - her attempts at gaining independence from her domineering father, but her dependency on familial affection and approval are likely to resonate well with early teens. The life of Nannerl Mozart was a sad one despite her early successes: thwarted love, thwarted career, and a life spent largely isolated from others - but Carolyn Meyer manages to show us an inner strength and a means of escape from her troubles through music. I loved the descriptions of music as a symbol of the Mozart's siblings affection as well as its use as a necessary emotional outlet. It certainly made me wish I knew how to play an instrument to provide that kind of catharsis.

More at my blog. ( )
  Caramellunacy | Jun 29, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0152055940, Hardcover)

Nannerl Mozart was a musical prodigy who seemed to have a brilliant future. But once her younger brother, Wolfgang, began composing symphonies at the age of five, her career and talents were utterly eclipsed. Here, at last, is Nannerl's heart-wrenching tale. It's the story of her undying passion for music; her relationship with her "miracle boy" brother; and her life as the "other Mozart," the one forgotten by history.
The acclaimed Carolyn Meyer has written a powerful historical novel about a little-known but gifted musician who never stopped dreaming.
Includes an author's note.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:26 -0400)

In eighteenth-century Europe, Anna "Nannerl" Mozart, a musician whose talent and dedication is overshadowed by that of her gifted younger brother, Wolfgang, struggles to win the notice of her father and patrons who might further her career, despite her gender.… (more)

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