Read In Mozart's Shadow: His Sister's Story by Carolyn Meyer Online


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 thNannerl 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....

Title : In Mozart's Shadow: His Sister's Story
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780152055943
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 368 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

In Mozart's Shadow: His Sister's Story Reviews

  • Jennifer Wardrip
    2019-04-07 08:41

    Reviewed by Harmony for TeensReadToo.comWe 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.

  • Ian Wood
    2019-04-12 09:18

    I rated this one as warty on my blogNote that I don't do stars. A novel is either worthy or warty and ne'er the Clemens shall meet. This one was warty.This is one of those novels that seems like a good idea at the time, but turns into a regretful misunderstanding! Given that Carolyn Meyer was starting from the truth (Mozart had a musical sister who outlived him), I can't explain how she went so far adrift!Maria Anna Walburga Ignatia Mozart was known as Nannerl and had all the musical attention (to the point of being rather spoiled accoridng to Meyer (Note that I skipped the prologue in this story since I don't do introductions or prologs. If it's worth including, make it chapter one or leave it out!).I tried to find out why there is this obsession with adding '-erl' to people's names, but could find no reference to it in anything I read about Anna or Wolferl (Mozart). Name etymologies all suggested different derivations, which only goes to show that none of them really know what they're talking about! It would appear, at least at first blush, that Nanerl derives from Anna, but I still have no good idea what the deal is with this. I can only assume it’s some sort of affectionate term applied to youngsters and cute pets. Why Meyer felt no need to explain this is a mystery.Meyer uses this diminutive routinely, and I have to say I found it insulting. Given that Meyer's obvious agenda here was to promote 'Mozart's sister' and her accomplishments, why would she undermine that aim by consistently relegating Anna's status to that of to a child with a pet name? The book itself is divided into four parts, every single one of which is titled using one of Mozart's names: Wolferl, Amadeo, Wolfgang Mozart! How insulting! The book is supposed to be about Anna, yet it's really about Mozart Jr. all along! It's Meyer who actually puts Anna into her brother's shadow! (I rebel against this in my blog, refering to her as Anna and employing Mozart's diminutive instead. Take that genderist encroachment!).Anna's privileged position changes significantly when her brother Wolfgang Amadè Mozart (as he evidently liked to be known later in life), arrives in the family, and as he grows, shows himself to be a musical prodigy. The story really takes off when Wolferl is five and Anna is ten, and their father insists upon taking them to Vienna (later to become the home of the famous Strauss musical dynasty) to get them known, and to make money with which he was rather obsessed. They end up performing successfully for royalty, for which they're rewarded with money, clothes, and marzipan cakes.OK, now you know my superhero weakness. Yes, you attack me with marzipan and I am defeated instantly.I had some difficulty with Meyer's style. I'm not a fan of historical fiction (and especially not historical romance, which this isn’t) so I'm biased against this kind of story in a way, but I am interested in reading historical work if it’s informative and well done. Meyer's effort wasn't an unmitigated disaster, but it was choppy and her style was not easy. It felt a bit like reading a high-school essay!There was a big assumption at play here: that Anna was on a much greater par with Mozart than history has allowed, but the fact is that we do not know this at all. We know she could play and compose. We know she was good enough to play in public and her father encouraged this, although he made her increasingly take a back-seat as Mozart himself came to the fore. But we have no compositions of Anna's extant, so we have no means at all of really judging how good she was, and even if we had her compositions, it would not tell us how well she herself played.Some point to the fact that Mozart, in at least one letter, referred to Anna's composition and encouraged her to continue, and he even played some of her pieces (so I understand), but this still doesn’t speak to how competent or talented she was. It’s possible that Mozart was merely indulging his sister out of familiar affection. It’s possible that he truly did believe she was talented and wanted to encourage her. I don't think we know the answer to that question. Not from what I've read, anyway.I don’t think anyone does women a service by falsely promoting them or by promoting them to great heights without sufficient justification for it. Perhaps Anna was worthy of every accolade with which her champions seek to shower her, but given our obsession with creating heroes out of everyone these days, I think we need to exercise caution in these endeavors, and to accept that if we’re honest, we really have insufficient data to make that call with any real confidence. It’s like Syndrome says in The Incredibles: "Once everyone is a superhero, then no one will be."The novel tends to just run out of breath at the end and it ends when Mozart dies, yet another reminder that this really isn't a novel about Maria Anna Mozart at all, but is, instead, a shadow of a novel about Wolfgang Mozart, and that's a different story altogether.I find it especially hard to swallow this given what I know about the real Anna: that when her first child was born, she left it with her father to raise until he died when her son was about two years old. Hypocrite much, Anna?! Of course, this, once again, actually isn't Anna, but merely Meyer's impressionist painting of Anna, and she paints it that Anna is so miserable in her married life that she doesn't want her child to be subject to it; that she can't bear for her own child to be drowned in this, and she's doing it all for love of him! I'm sorry but I don't buy Meyer's account here at all. Some argue that this arrangement was enforced upon her by her father's wish to try and raise another musical prodigy, or that it was because Anna's poor health, or because of of the strain of being mother and stepmother to so many children, but the plain truth is that we don't know.We know that Anna's father supported her in the sense that he sent her much music during her rather isolated living circumstances in her new married life. This tends to discount somewhat the claims made against him that he was an unrelenting tyrant!There came a point where I ceased to care very much what happened to Anna, and this is quite obviously Meyer's fault. Her writing eventually made me feel that whatever happened to her, it was something she deserved! I'm sure that's not what Meyer intended, but it is what she imbued in me. Fortunately, I feel this only about the Anna whom Meyer has invented, not about the real woman, whom I honestly feel I do not know, Meyer's book notwithstanding.We read of Anna's attachment to music, but we read far more of her socializing, of her resentment and frustration over Mozart, of her gossiping, of her blowing off practice in favor of socializing, and of her growing attachment to her star-crossed captain, but even that is odd. At one point, Meyer has Anna refer to him as captain immediately before she reveals that she now calls him by his first name. Say what? Anna shamelessly (for the time) kisses him in the street, but then has the hypocrisy to feel embarrassment over Mozart's behavior towards the woman who will become his wife!Anna's father refused consent to her the marriage to this captain for what were (for the time in which these events take place) reasonable objections, such as that he was almost twice Anna's age, and had little income - an income he was likely to lose if he married Anna. These reasons were no different from those many other fathers of the period undoubtedly employed to refuse their own daughters.Yes, it's appalling that people in love are refused the chance to share that love with each other and to marry; we see that same shameful state still today, especially when those who are in love and wish to marry are of the same gender, but to seek to pillory Anna's father for the refusal is nothing but drama on Meyer's part, and this is what this story was. It wasn't the honest relation of the life of a woman who perhaps deserved more than she was allowed, but pure fiction about a frivolous girl who evidently deserved less than she had.

  • Emily Farrar
    2019-04-16 15:47

    I enjoyed reading it. I think Nannerl was a really cool, selfless girl, and I feel sorry for her. Everything she ever wanted, for instance Armand, she didn't get. At least her father never told her she couldn't play, he praised her often, even if he never spent time on her career.

  • Rebecca
    2019-04-03 13:34

    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, 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.

  • Erin
    2019-04-05 08:25

    I cannot believe I read the whole thing. It felt more like a recitation than a novel. I'd had high hopes for it, and I was interested in the subject matter (the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's older sister Nannerl), was pretty boring. Flat. The most interesting part was when she was about 28 or 29 and fell in love with an older man whom her father refused to let her marry. Yes--her father was a wretchedly domineering man and totally wrong about, well, most everything. In fact, her father was an excellent example of how NOT to parent, although he at least did love her & her brother. The most interesting thing about the book was actually not IN the book but in my head as I pondered the effect--for good or for ill--bad parenting had on Mozart's legacy of music.I spent most of this book praying that Nannerl would rebel against her father. Didn't happen, of course. She pleaded with him a few times--about being allowed to train in Italy as a musician (she was an outstanding pianist), about being allowed to travel with him & "Wolferl," and about being allowed to marry Armand d'Ippold, etc., but she never defied him. Mozart did rebel and was eventually allowed to marry the woman he chose. But no one else ever defied Leopold Mozart or bothered telling him the truth. Not that he would listen anyway. I wonder if he was truly this autocratic in real life, or if it's just Carolyn Meyer's vision of him?This book is categorized as YA fiction, but I'm not certain many teenagers would like it. It wouldn't be among my top recommendations, at any rate. Not enough dialogue, character development, or even plot. I'm sure the chronology was pretty accurate, but the 30 or so years of Nannerl's life that it covers are almost entirely depressing.

  • Anna
    2019-04-07 10:28

    All I want to say Mrs. Meyers did a fantastic job of writing Mozart's sister's story but the unlucky one is Mozart himself, in this story he's a rude and proud and even vain man while she is a kind and ever trying to please her father. After she finds out she isn't needed, she doesn't sulk about her lost talent in utter misery. Throughout the story she is TRYING to please her unwilling father, it's hard to please your father who only loves your brother who is selfish and rude. And when her mother is taken away from her and her chance to be married is also gone, what can the poor girl do now? marry herself to the most disagreeable man and his children. In hopes she will find true happiness, she finds...unhappiness. It's easy for him say I can please father and you can't, she is twenty and still single, do you know how hard it is to find a agreeable husband and marry him. All the time she in search of a husband, Mozart is having the easy life, he has already chosen a wife for himself and won't do what their father says until he agrees to the marriage. How selfish can you get? Nannrel is stuck with a horrible husband and even worse step-children, her only love is her music and her son who she barely gets to see, as often as she wants then when she thought all hope is lost. Their father dies too. Now she is stuck with a family she can't stand only one of her daughters loves her and her son doesn't even see her very often to remember. Now that's a miserable life for you, then suddenly Mozart dies leaving her alone, yes this does have a happy ending like fairy tales but not like you think it will end.

  • BAYA Librarian
    2019-03-26 14:37

    * Young musicians and historical fiction lovers will enjoy this accurate, and therefore frequently depressing, tale of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's older sister, Nannerl. A talented and hardworking musician, Nannerl was, like her brother, exploited by their father Leopold as he paraded his genius children through the courts of Europe, winning acclaim, applause and occasionally, money. But Wolfgang's charm and extraordinary composing talent become Leopold's focus-and the fact that Nannerl was female in the 1700s made Leopold's emphasis on his son a societal given. The book is too long and detailed, but the Mozart children's love of music and their joy in sharing it with each other come through loud and clear, as does Nannerl's love for her little brother, despite her understandable jealousy. The cover means well, a color photo showing a glum, bewigged young woman in period costume, standing in the...yes! shadow! But it's painfully obvious. Tell your young musicians to ignore it, and dive in.

  • E.S.
    2019-03-24 11:18

    This was a sad story. It was slow to start and I wasn't sure how I felt about Meyer's writing style, but it grew on me. Leopold Mozart was a very frustrating father, using his children as a means to make money and denying Anna-Marie's chances at both a happy marriage and a career as a keyboardist. I was rooting for her and Armand (I know little about Anna-Marie's history, so if I had, this book would not have been surprising) but NOPE her father just HAD to refuse. Anna-Marie's only marriage seemed....content (though not at first), but it was clearly not a marriage made for love. It was sad to see Anna-Marie and Wolfgang slowly lose contact, and even more sad, to watch as her brother became a famous and successful composer and musician and traveled frequently, while she stayed back and took care of her father. After reading this, I think I am inclined to check out Meyer's other historical fiction novels.

  • Amy Rosa
    2019-03-29 08:27

    This book was wonderfully written. Even though it is fiction, it could easily pass as a memoir of Nannerl Mozart's life. The reader feels every emotion that she is going through-- frustration, hurt, sadness, love, loss, etc. I randomly came across this book and thought wow, Mozart had a sister? Who was she? So I decided I needed to find out and I'm extremely glad I chose this book.

  • Joelle
    2019-04-16 08:44

    I feel so bad for Nannerl, she had such a hard life. At least she got to play during recitals in her early life.

  • Paige
    2019-04-04 11:43

    I am so glad that my genius brother(s) are not like Mozart...doesn't sound like it is worth it.

  • Sara
    2019-03-26 16:20

    I'm not sure if it was the writing or the life of Nannerl (sp?) herself but I found this really boring.

  • Jeanne Manton
    2019-03-26 11:41

    I would recommend this as a very good YA. I enjoyed it but didn't learn as much as I had hoped.

  • Becky
    2019-03-28 12:22

    Meyer, Carolyn. 2008. In Mozart's Shadow: His Sister's Story."In the beginning, when I was four, Papa sat beside me at the clavichord, the music book open to minuets and other short pieces he had prepared for me, and he taught me how to play." (7)In Mozart's Shadow is a novelization of Nannerl Mozart. Several years older than Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, she was a talented, gifted musician in her own right. When Wolferl showed talent and promise as well, the family--mom, dad, brother, sister--went on the road together. The children performed together. Nannerl would have her time to shine. Wolferl would have his spotlight. They'd perform together as well playing duets. Their father would join in on occasion as well. Music was the family business. The Mozart's world revolved around music. Unfortunately, while many many people enjoyed their performances, money never really quite rolled in the way the parents hoped. They wanted fame, yes, but they also wanted money. Lots and lots of money. The father had a habit of living beyond his means, beyond his income. He wanted the best of everything. He thought that by spending money he would look aristocratic. And he thought that by looking aristocratic, people would give him more money. These times together on the road as a family performing music were some of the happiest of her life. Unfortunately, the good times would not--could not--last. Sooner than Nannerl would have liked, her father stopped touring as a family. Wolferl, her younger brother, was the rising star now. He was the one that everyone hoped and prayed would be a big STAR. If the family were to make a fortune, to have a rise in social standing--fame, glory, success, money--it would be because of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. And the father didn't want Nannerl along for the journey--not even in the background. Nannerl's hopes and dreams would not disappear or dissipate overnight. No, she clung to her dreams, her hopes for many years. Many. But her happiness was not to be. Not at all. Her life was full of disappointments, shattered dreams, and losses. It brings to mind Langston Hughes' "A Dream Deferred." Though she was talented, she was a she. There were not any famous women musicians, keyboard players. Women singers occasionally made it big and became stars. But not musicians. There was no place in that society for a grown woman to succeed in the world of men. The best she could hope for--if she wanted to keep music in her life--was to teach music. That and to play privately for family and friends and acquaintances and such. But there would be no career as a professional musician.Though Nannerl's story is far from happy, the book itself is rich in detail. The people. The places. The culture and society. Hair. Fashion. Gossip. Those who love historical fiction will find it interesting I'm sure. PartialSpoilerNannerl's life is one of frustration. Raised by a domineering, controlling, authoritative, demanding father--worst stage dad ever perhaps--she was kept reined in even at home. She was in her early thirties and her father would not even consider letting her get married. He turned away any suitors that came around. She did fall in love. She did hope to marry. There was a man very much in love with her. But her father said never in a million years. She did eventually marry, but she never found love in that marriage. She married a man just as abominable--if not more so--than her father. Her true love stayed true to her even though they could never be together.I'm not quite sure how well-known the existence the life of Mozart's sister, Nannerl, (Maria Anna) is generally speaking. (I was going to say with teens. But then I got to many adults are familiar with her? I just don't know. I certainly didn't learn of her until a year or so ago. And that was just through a conversation with a friend. She mentioned her casually. So maybe I was clueless and the rest of the world is more aware. Or maybe she's just well known in certain sets.)

  • Bailey
    2019-04-19 11:26

    Wow. This was a very heart wrenching tale of the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's older sister, Nannerl Mozart. I think that I would have found it a bit too plain, had I not deeply sympathized with the things that Nannerl was going through. What made this book special to me was that it was so full of emotion, which I could very personally relate to.In terms of historical accuracy, as far as I know, the book did follow the chronological order of Wolfgang's compositions, and I trust that the years and as many other details as could be researched were as accurate as could be. I'm guessing that, for the most part, Nannerl's thoughts and emotions, which made up a substantial part of the novel, while sticking as closely as possible to historical records and fact, had to be created by the author. However, I did not see this as a major downfall of the book. This essential creativity did not detract from the historical detail, and I thought that the description and development of Nannerl's deepest thoughts, feelings and fears represented the life, emotions, and experiences of a virtuoso performer with surprising accuracy. I was stunned by how realistic Nannerl quickly became, and I think that another performer of any level would have a very similar reaction and experience with this story as I did.To me, the last chapters were the most poignant, powerful, and touching parts of the whole book. While I greatly sympathized with Nannerl's emotions as a child, my greatest sympathies were drawn out as the years began to pass more quickly, as if after watching her childhood very closely, frame by frame, the novel zoomed out and I was able to see her adult years in scenes then whole acts. Seeing how, even in her later years, just how many ceaseless trials she endured, and watching her go through these things so meekly, submissively, and patiently, trusting and always submitting herself to the will of authority - was very humbling.One thing that you should know before picking up this book is that it's not a happy tale. It is worth the read, certainly, and although I don't think that I'll be reading this again, I am very glad that I did read it this one time. Yet overall, it is not a light and happy tale, but one whose words flow deeply with pure, clear sentiment and emotion.

  • Alex Shangreaux
    2019-04-18 11:35

    I Enjoyed this book not only because it taught me a lot, but also because it made me realize that even back in the 1700's people had similar struggles as they do today. Many people don't read historical fiction because they see no resemblance in life then compared to life now. I would beg to differ. I admit that I never knew how rough life back then must have been if you were not among the Elite. But I also admit that many of the challenges Nannerl faced throughout her life are challenges many people still face today. I also really enjoyed her style of writing simply because her words seemed to flow naturally. I was impressed by her ability to catch my attention and keep it throughout the entire book.My favorite thing about this book was the longing hope I gained for the main character Nannerl. All she ever wanted was to be noticed for her amazing keyboard talent, as her brother was. Instead, her brother Wolfgang received all the worship, while she was forced to sit and watch her brothers growing popularity among the European courts. Even when it was obvious her father would never let her travel and preform as her brother had, she never gave up hope. Her father's main focus was always Wolfgang and his future providing for the Mozart family. I often found myself getting angered and irritated by the way her father treated her. Their father could be described as stubborn and controlling, which explains why he always made all their decisions for them. Not once in Nannerl's life did she live for herself. The only thing that brought her peace at mind was playing the music she helplessly loved.

  • Rachael
    2019-03-24 14:41

    This was a fascinating book. However, if you're a reader who prefers happy endings, as I generally always do, I would caution you that it really doesn't have one. I was attracted to this book because I hadn't realized that Mozart had a highly accomplished, yet largely forgotten, older sister. My oldest son is incredibly gifted in many areas, and I have often wondered if his younger siblings will be overshadowed by his reputation, even if they are quite talented themselves, and how that would feel for them.This book is one that reminds me how eternally grateful I am to be born in this time; even though their father educated Nannerl as well as Wolfgang, she was so restricted by societal expectations of gender roles. It also shows that the life of the most talented and celebrated musician in that day was entirely different from today's idolized and overpaid pop stars. It was also amazing to read about how Mozart composed, even from such a young age.The movie Amadeus came out when I was a young child, and my mother "fed" us a steady "diet" of his music throughout my growing-up years. I can't say I remember a lot about the film, but I know that the depiction of Salieri in it is largely false. However, I found it interesting that his name is not mentioned even once in this novel. I thought, at least, that it was true that they were aqcuaintances, so this surprised me somewhat. Lastly, and I know this is so trivial, I really don't like the cover art for this edition. I hope they changed it for paperback. Her dress is so ill-fitting that it bothered me every time I picked up the book. But I'm weird like that!

  • Jori Richardson
    2019-03-21 08:37

    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.

  • Cece
    2019-03-29 15:23

    For me, this book was merely decent. I did not enjoy it very much, and I think the reason why is because it read like a non-fiction book, not like a historical. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, if not my favorite, because you can learn things about history in a way that is still literary and beautiful. This book really lacked the literary aspect - Meyer's writing style felt blunt and informational, not like it was telling a story. Susanne Dunlap continues to be my favorite author of historical YA - if you have not read her books The Musician's Daughter or In the Shadow of the Lamp, I highly recommend them, because they are wonderful. This book just didn't do it for me, and I doubt I will read more of Meyer's books in the future because of my experience with this one. One thing I liked about this book was Nannerl's character - I found her easy to relate to, being musical myself. But there were still flaws with Meyer's characters. The supporting characters like Katherl and Viktoria were barely described at all - I couldn't even picture them in my head, and I could barely picture Nannerl herself. They seemed like they were just there to give occasional advice, and I was not satisfied with how the ending just kind of didn't conclude their parts of the story. I was not satisfied with the plot, either - it got very repetitive and dull.

  • Sigurweissen
    2019-04-14 12:35

    I’ve really been getting into reading historical novels lately… I’ve always been curious about the lives of famous composers – what it must have been like to live back when they weren’t so “famous” like they are today.This novel was set through Mozart’s sister, Nannerl’s POV, and I have to say that it was a good read. Never before did I guess that Mozart was such a stereotypical “little brother” figure until I read this. And while I know that it is historicalfictionand can guess that maybe Carolyn Meyer exaggerated that a little, it was still funny.But I have to say the writing was a little bland. I did get connected to Nannerl fairly well, and I was sharing the same feelings as her, which I applaud, because I haven’t recently connected with many characters who are in the 1st Person perspective lately. But still, the writing was boring, which made my reading experience just as boring. If one can understand what I mean.It wasn’t terrible, however. In fact, it was very good, and I was glad to be able to be transported back to that time, even if briefly.

  • Amber
    2019-03-27 14:44

    I like Mozart's music and different POVs of famous people. That's why I chose this book. At first, I was intrigued by Nannerl's attitude and behavior. I felt I could relate to her. I found myself rooting for Nannerl even though I knew things will not end up well for her. Yet there was no climax to this book and I just read mindlessly. However, the author did a good job portraying the characters (I hated the father and even Mozart from time to time and usually it's hard to elicit those feelings from me).It was clever of the author to break the stories into four parts and named them with Wolfgang's name. This shows how Nannerl is maturing in each stage of Wolfgang's career and yet her thought and motive is still the same: music. I thought the ending of the book is apt since the point of the book is Nannerl living "In Mozart's Shadow". Overall I couldn't put the book down but I would not want to read it the second time. Contradicting, isn't it?

  • Maanasa
    2019-04-14 08:40

    This was a heartbreaking but exceptional and unique book. It follows the sad yet thrilling story of Maria Anna "Nannerl" Mozart. Nannerl is blessed with the gift of music but her brilliance never gets to see the light because Nannerl is a woman and as great as she is, she(in that time period) cannot compare to her brother. It is a sad story, and there isn't a happy ending, but reading it is a rewarding experience. Without giving too much away I can say that it will transport you to a whole other world,as real as ours, and leave you in tears. Reading this book made me wonder why people as gifted as Wolfgang and Nannerl lived struggling for money, and died without all their wishes fullfilled, when they had such genius in them. If they lived in our time period, they would have ruled the world.

  • Caitlín (Ink Mage)
    2019-04-12 14:26

    I was very excited when I heard about this book's release--a book about Mozart's sister by one of my favorite authors!--but unfortunately it did not live up to my expectations. If it were not for my interest in the subject, I probably would have given In Mozart's Shadow only a two-star rating. The writing was extremely unemotional, and all the characters aside from Mozart (even Nannerl) had absolutely no distinctive personality. Basically this was a novelized biography of Maria Anna "Nannerl" Mozart's pretty awful life. (Everything that ever mattered to her was denied her or taken away from her. Or she gave it up.)True, I did learn a lot about Nannerl (a woman whose existence most people today are completely unaware of) and her life, but for the originality of the book, I might as well have read the Wikipedia article about her.

  • Janie
    2019-04-18 12:29

    I waver between three and four stars for this juvenile historical fiction. The book was a slow starter for me, but the father's obvious favoritism toward one child, his condescending and snobbish view of another's marriage partner, and his overlording toward both of his progeny fueled me to finish. If I were giving a rating for Leopold, it would be one star. And if Meyer is accurate in her historical conveyance, we should all be thankful we live in a day and age where marriage (at least the circles I move in) is sought for love and not for standing in a community or politicized. And again if mostly accurate, the viewpoint of Mozart's life from only sibling, sister Nannerl, casts a sympathizing light on his tragically short but astoundingly productive musical life.

  • Lady Susan
    2019-03-25 08:42

    This was a well done historical fiction novel. I am a bit obsessed with Mozart (musically). I am also aware that there were many sisters of famous musicians (and who often were the better musician) who were ignored, patronized, and dismissed because of their gender. I was therefore interested to see how the author treated this subject. Perhaps it was due to a lack of information, but I felt like this was a story about Mozart through Nannerl's eyes--that Nannerl was still, even in this book about her life, wasn't given full attention. It was a bit disappointing in that regard. Hence the three stars. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy historical fiction and those who are interested in the Mozart Family.

  • Sarah
    2019-03-30 13:20

    Carolyn Meyer again spins a touching and beautiful tale, imagined from the point of view of Mozart's sister, Nannerl. The frustration talented girls must have felt at that time, especially one who was constantly in the "shadow" of her famous younger brother, is eloquently depicted in this engaging novel.I'm always on the lookout for well-researched novels about composers, and fortunately more and more of them have appeared in recent years. I especially appreciate when these stories are told from a female perspective, giving voice to the "unsung heroines" who so often played a major role in the lives and artistries of their more famous male counterparts.

  • Meggen
    2019-04-13 12:36

    This book is about Mozart's older sister Nannerl. Despite her own magnificent musical talent, Nannerl is constantly upstaged and overshadowed by her younger, flirtatious, irreverent, often irresponsible, yet brilliant younger brother, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. This book follows a portion of her life of personal disappointments and shattered dreams. I found it to be very interesting, yet very sad too. Details in this book caused me to do a little research into Nannerl myself. I found this book to be extremely historically accurate. It draws heavily upon hundreds and hundreds of letters written by members of the Mozart family.

  • Kelsey
    2019-03-28 15:45

    This book was pretty good, but I didn't like the end with Nannerl. It was so sad when she married Johann Baptist and she never even got to be happy!! I know it's " the real world", but I still didn't like it. The parts with Wolfgang were great! It was great how he could go from being in a trance while writing music, to being the zany person he was. It was amazing how he just wrote the music right out of his head, and he only lived to be 35!!! He was an absolute musical genius!!!!Over all, great book if you want to learn about Mozart, but be prepared for Nannerl's story to have a sad ending.Kels

  • Jennifer
    2019-04-17 16:47

    Wow, I never knew Mozart's sister was so musically talented as well! Or that his father was so obsessed with fame and fortune. It was kind of sad to read because of the father's greed and Mozart's irresponsibility. Also, the prospects for women in that time and place were so dismal. Maria Mozart lived in fear of being a burden to her family, and this fear ultimately pushed her to a difficult marriage. So kind of depressing to read, but interesting too to understand more about a great composer and his talented sister.

  • Andrea
    2019-03-27 08:18

    I have really enjoyed reading historical fiction from Carolyn Meyer. She really tells you how it is though, so I would not recommend her books to young kids, but older youth who are more mature it would be ok for. She does a great job of helping you really know what it was like for the characters she is writing about. I have loved reading about Mozart's sister Nannerl. She was given a lot of opportunities, but then had so many opportunities taken away from her. That is what life is all about though, struggles, trials, and we all grow from them..