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Saturday, September 25, 2010

My review of, "The Musician's Daughter"

Title: The Musician's Daughter

Author: Susanne Dunlap

Publisher: Bloomsbury U.S.A. Children's Books

Published: 2009

ISBN# 978-1-59990-452-8

Paperback: 322 pages

Murder and love—from the halls of Vienna’s imperial family to a perilous gypsy camp

Amid the glamor of Prince Nicholas Esterhazy’s court in 18th-century Vienna, murder is afoot. Or so fifteen-year-old Theresa Maria is convinced when her musician father turns up dead on Christmas Eve, his valuable violin missing, and the only clue to his death a strange gold pendant around his neck. Then her father’s mentor, the acclaimed composer Franz Joseph Haydn, helps her through a difficult time by making her his copyist and giving her insight in to her father’s secret life. It’s there that Theresa begins to uncover a trail of blackmail and extortion, even as she discovers honor—and the possibility of a first, tentative love. Thrumming with the weeping strains of violins, as well as danger and deception, this is an engrossing tale of murder, romance, and music that readers will find hard to forget.

This book is promoted as a young adult/ historical fiction, but it doesn't read like one. It is a wonderful read for any adult who loves historical fiction, a budding romance and a lot of mystery. I was surprised to read on goodreads.com, that many people did not like this book as much as I did. I have found this to be happening with many books I have read lately. I will either like a book more than others or will not like a book as much as other readers do. I really am not trying to be contrary, it just seems to be happening.

The beginning of this book hooked me from the moment I started reading it. If you would like to read an excerpt from the beginning of the book, which I found on the author's website, you can go to my other blog to read it. It is very long, but you will be able to see why I had to read this book.

The 15 year old girl, Theresa is brave, courageous and very vulnerable at times. I liked her because of how she took charge of the family after her father died. Her very pregnant Mother shuts down and is no help to the family. It is up to Theresa to look for her father's murderers and get a job to earn money for her family to live on. This story is told so well, first person, from Theresa.

I related so well to her because of her great love of music, which she and her father had shared. The glamorous city of Vienna came to life, and the hardships of the 18th century became more realistic. I loved the excitement and intrigue that came as Theresa visited the Gypsy (Romanian) camps for clues. There she learns of their plight during this time period and how they were ill-treated by the higher gentry and politicians. We also get to go into the very glittering palace of Prince Nicholas Esterhazy's and experience the life of nobility. I particulary loved when Theresa, for the first time in her life, was fitted for a gown for a ball. As a "girl" I loved the idea of dressing up in finery. A warning, there is also a creepy Uncle in the background tormenting Therea.

I do know that a sequel to this book is being written. It truly was left open for a sequel. I think that more romance will be found in the next book. I enjoyed Susanne's fast paced writing style and the wonderful details that she included that swept me away to 18th Century Vienna.

If you would like to learn more about Susanne Dunlap, her other historical fiction novels and the history behind this book, go to her website here.

This book receives 4 stars from me. I will probably end up purchasing this book. I want to read it again.

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