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In Mozart's Shadow: His Sister's Story    by Carolyn Meyer order for
In Mozart's Shadow
by Carolyn Meyer
Order:  USA  Can
Harcourt, 2008 (2008)
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

Carolyn Meyer is a master at writing historical fiction. Her tales of young European women throughout the later part of the last millennium are brilliantly rendered, immediately drawing the reader into the famous girls' lives. And her latest novel, In Mozart's Shadow, does not disappoint.

Maria Anna Mozart, Nannerl to her family and friends, has always dreamed of being a professional keyboard player. However, while she does get to play concerts with her family, she is always overshadowed by her younger brother Wolferl. Her father, the ultimate stage father, laughs at Nannerl's dreams and only does whatever is best to promote Wolferl's talent. As Nannerl grows, she realizes that her brother is a prodigy, but still never gives up on her dreams, so much so that she spurns a boy who truly loves her and ends up having to marry for convenience rather than love, having never achieved her life's goal.

One of the aspects of Meyer's writing that makes her work so amazing is that she can instantly transport the reader to another time period and place them in a historical figure's shoes. Nannerl is an especially interesting character because she seems a little more modern than some of Meyer's other heroines. Although her story takes place 250 years ago, she is rather independent in teaching private music lessons and going for unchaperoned walks with her friends, both female and male. Also, her father, Leopold Mozart, is the original stage dad, which is very relevant today as stories are always cropping up about today's young talent and their domineering fathers.

Carolyn Meyer's In Mozart's Shadow is the perfect way to learn more about the Mozart family while enjoying an interesting and fun read.

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