Mozart’s Sister by Nancy Moser
Nannerl Mozart’s early days seem to be the stuff of fairy tales–traveling far and wide, performing piano concerts with her younger brother, Wolfgang, before the crowned heads of Europe. But behind the glamour lurk dark difficulties–the hardship of travel, agonizing bouts of illness, and the constant concern over money. Their father, Leopold, is driven by a desire to bring his son’s genius to the attention of the world. But what about Nannerl? Is she not just as talented? In a world where women’s choices are limited, what hope does she have of ever realizing her own dreams? (From Amazon.ca)
You could really see the extreme differences on how each gender was treated in this book. It’s so blatantly different and the gap is so wide especially when Wolfgang and his father go on tour while Nannerl and her mother stay at home. It just did not seem fair as Nannerl is just as talented and gifted with music as Wolfgang but because she’s female she’s expected to give those talents up to get married, and have children. It’s these kinds of injustices that made me angry in the book. It felt that such wonderful talent was wasted and I could not help but get even more angry at her father for pushing her aside, and at her mother for not doing anything at all. However, it was like that back then, so it’s hard to get used to such gender disparity.
I have to admit I hated her father at first. He was the type of parent that lived through their kids and profited from it. However I reserved most of my anger towards Wolfgang. Oh my. What a spoiled piece of…well you get the idea. His ego was as big as the moon (his father helped a lot with that) and he treated the rest of his family like dirt. Once he got even more famous, he suddenly became ‘too good’ to be with his family to visit. What a horrid little creature he was in this book! Towards the ending of the novel he just got worse. Their father on the other hand, I started taking a liking to him. It seemed he finally realized Wolfgang was a jerk after all and treated Nannerl much better.
The writing was excellent throughout the novel, although the plot was a bit slow paced. Nannerl’s faith is admirable yet you wonder if it’s possible for her to just keep relying on her faith for the answer, what if she had decided to take matters into her own hands? perhaps the plot would have a huge change but it might have made it a little more interesting. I really did like the characters in this book despite Wolfgang being a twit. Everyone was exceptionally well written and were well developed throughout the story.
This was a well written historically accurate novel seeing a famous composer through a different set of eyes; namely his sister. It’s a different point of view and despite the slow moving plot, the characters are well written and you’ll find yourself engrossed in this book. It’s well worth the read.
I give it a 6.5 out of 10.