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IN MOZART’S SHADOW by Carolyn Meyer


His Sister’s Story

by Carolyn Meyer

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: June 1st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-15-205594-3
Publisher: Harcourt

In the afterword of her haunting story about the life and times of Mozart’s older sister Maria Anna—Nannerl—Meyer says that she was intrigued by the question, “What must it have been like to be the highly talented sister of a genius?”Although Nannerl, a gifted child performer with a passion for music, was outclassed by her brother, much of her frustration was the result of being a woman in a time when a musical career was not an option. Her brother may have overshadowed her, but her despotic father controlled her; he was determined to achieve glory for his son, and by extension, the family Mozart. If this was an unfettered piece of fiction, Nannerl would win out by dint of work and will, but it’s fact-based, and she’s not only denied a career but the love match she desires. Though her tale of woe becomes somewhat repetitious, she’s sympathetic and understandable, and readers of this illuminating chronicle will be both fascinated and appalled by how restricted her life was. (Historical fiction. 12 & up)