Mozart's Sister

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Overview

Young Nannerl Mozart's life seems to be the stuff of fairy tales--traveling far and wide, performing with little brother Wolfgang before kings and queens. But behind the glamour lurk hardships, illness, and constant financial worries. Their father, Leopold, is driven to bring his son's genius to the attention of the world. But what of Nannerl's talent and aspirations? And what of the man she loves? Readers will be captivated by the sometimes heartrending--and ultimately inspiring--story of a woman who struggles ...
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Overview

Young Nannerl Mozart's life seems to be the stuff of fairy tales--traveling far and wide, performing with little brother Wolfgang before kings and queens. But behind the glamour lurk hardships, illness, and constant financial worries. Their father, Leopold, is driven to bring his son's genius to the attention of the world. But what of Nannerl's talent and aspirations? And what of the man she loves? Readers will be captivated by the sometimes heartrending--and ultimately inspiring--story of a woman who struggles with her dreams and her faith in a world where a woman's place was at home.
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Editorial Reviews

Lori Graham
Nancy Moser has chosen to write Mozart’s Sister in the first person and I often felt as if I was sitting and talking with Nannerl as opposed to simply reading about her life. Nancy is very clear in the book that she has attempted to use fact wherever possible but where there were blank spots she took some liberty to fill that portion in while trying to think as Nannerl would. I believe she has captured the essence of this young woman who for most of her life felt she lived in the background and was virtually unseen. However, in the end, Nannerl does realize she made a difference - one that only she could make.

I love historical books along this vein. ... when you take history in the vein of a person’s perspective, it comes to life and teaches. I found her historical references to be right on the mark and while this is so, I also found the words to be full of life. The emotions expressed in this remarkable story were real and could be felt by the reader just as if they were walking alongside Nannerl.
onceuponaromance.net

Lynn Worley
...As with other historical novels that I’ve read it was fascinating to get a view of what life was like back then. The author didn’t pull any punches. She included facts that were hard to read, including the death of so many children. Women had many babies at that time but so many didn’t make it until their first birthday.

Nannerl was a complicated person. She was blessed with so many gifts. It was really a pleasure getting to know her. She had a long life but as she looked back on it shortly before her death, she could see how the Lord had been working the whole way through. She had expected her life to go in a much different direction, but admitted that the Lord did indeed know what He was doing and could see His Hand in everything and totally accepted His Will.

I would highly recommend this book.
faithwebbin.net

Violet Nesdoly
...the seamless tale Moser tells and the compelling characters she sustains, even when blending fact with fiction, is a credit to her storytelling skill and ability to get inside the heads of her characters.
blogcritics.com
Sherri Myers
Realistic to the point of feeling as if I was almost living with the family, Mozart's Sister highlights the life of Baroness Maria Anna Walburga Ignatia Berchtold zu Sonnenburg who preferred to be known simply as Nannerl Mozart. Written entirely in first person style from Nannerl’s point of view, Mozart's Sister is a fascinating story that takes readers on a behind-the-scenes journey into the life of the Mozart family. An emotionally-charged read, this inspiring historical novel will be sure to please, especially the music lovers in the audience.
romancejunkies.com
April Gardner
Every fan of classical music will find this book enlightening, a wonderful collection to their library. Mozart's Sister is a heart-warming story of triumph through broken dreams, which will captivate the heart of even the most musically illiterate. This one is a treasure.
athomewithchristianfiction.com
Publishers Weekly
In the shadow of her famous sibling, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, older sister Nannerl was perhaps no less talented but devoid of the opportunities of the time because of her sex and a controlling parent. At least this is the argument presented in this historical novel by Moser, author of numerous inspirational novels, including the Sister Circle series. As told by Nannerl in the first person, a demanding father channels his love and energies into his young son. Although Nannerl performs, her father denies her a chance at fame-and perhaps more important, the lion's share of his attention and love. He relentlessly tours Europe with his children, lying about their ages to make them seem like younger prodigies and exploiting them for large sums of money. Nannerl adores her father, but as she ages from a young adolescent into a woman, she seems numbingly resigned to a life of disappointment and frustration. As she moves into adulthood, more unhappy events occur, which are not quite satisfactorily developed in the novel's latter half. Moser's writing is smooth, and there are some fascinating historical details, but the story loses steam toward the end. That Nannerl's sad life is portrayed as the will of God will be difficult for many readers to accept. (Sept.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Susan Higginbotham
As the story of a woman cheated of the opportunities enjoyed by her brother, Mozart's Sister, narrated by Nannerl, could have made for depressing reading. Instead, it's a moving story of a woman who must cope with often difficult circumstances while doing her best to build a satisfactory life for herself. (Susan Higginbotham, Historical Novels Review)
Fiction Reviewer
In the shadow of her famous sibling, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, older sister Nannerl was perhaps no less talented but devoid of the opportunities of the time because of her sex and a controlling parent. At least this is the argument presented in this historical novel by Moser, author of numerous inspirational novels, including the Sister Circle series. As told by Nannerl in the first person, a demanding father channels his love and energies into his young son. Although Nannerl performs, her father
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780764201233
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/1/2006
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Nancy Moser is the award-winning author of over twenty inspirational novels that focus on discovering our unique purpose. Her genres include both contemporary and historical stories. Nancy’s historical bio-novels allow real women-of-history to share their life stories: Just Jane (Jane Austen), Mozart’s Sister (Nannerl Mozart), Washington’s Lady (Martha Washington) and How Do I Love Thee? (Elizabeth Barrett Browning.)

Her time-travel novel, Time Lottery, (now published by Greenbrier) won a Christy Award, and Washington’s Lady was a finalist. Her contemporary books are known for their big-casts and intricate plotting. Some titles are John 3: 16, Crossroads, The Sister Circle, and The Invitation.

Nancy and her husband Mark live in the Midwest. She’s earned a degree in architecture, traveled extensively in Europe, and has performed in numerous theaters, symphonies, and choirs. She gives Sister Circle Seminars around the country, helping women identify their gifts as they celebrate their sisterhood. She paints canes voraciously, kills all her houseplants, and can wire an electrical fixture without getting shocked. She is a fan of anything antique—humans included.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 30 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

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    Prodded by their father Leopold and trained since birth to perform, by 1762, twelve years old Nannerl Mozart and her seven years old brother Wolfgang play in public for the first time. Thirty years later Wolfgang is dead not too long after Leopold passed away while Nannerl reflects back on their lives wondering if they started even earlier whether his precocious talent would have still overwhelmed her superb skills. Their late father believed this is so as Wolfgang got all the praise from royal patrons and especially from their dad. Though she dreams of performing to regal accolades and settles pragmatically in marriage to Johann, she looks back at what might have been.------------- This is a terrific biographical fiction of Nannerl Mozart, who apparently was a very talented musician, but never received any acclaim from patrons or her parents because she performed for the most part along side her superstar brother. The story line brings to life late eighteenth century musical Vienna from a different perspective as readers observe how Nannerl deals with a talented precocious highly acclaimed younger brother though some say she rivaled him in performing skills. This is a winner as readers learn the pressures on females to conform while their artistic male siblings can do almost anything and like Nannerl (at least in this novel) wonder what if. Nancy Moser provides a powerful insightful tale that has a modern day message of encouraging the young to be all that they can be.--------------- Harriet Klausner

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2012

    WOULD RECOMMEND THIS BOOK!! Great story and written from Mozart

    WOULD RECOMMEND THIS BOOK!!
    Great story and written from Mozart sister's viewpoint. Makes me appreciate the opportunities women have today that definitely were not available in the past.

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  • Posted February 11, 2012

    loved it

    loved it

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  • Posted August 25, 2011

    Really enjoyed this!!

    This book was very enjoyable to read. The story moved along at a pace that kept me wanting to continue reading it without my typical going back and forth between two books. While the book is mainly fiction, as you read, you can actually picture the characters going thru these events and dealing with the feelings portrayed. You feel for Nannerl as the story progresses. She has so much talent, maybe even more than her brother, but is cast aside for one reason: she is female! What a waste. When I was finished, I felt like the story ended well, no wondering "what if?" or "what happened to?". Just a very satisfying read!

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  • Posted May 14, 2011

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    Well written and nicely done

    I thought this was an interesting point of view to see Mozart from a different angle. (In fact, I didn't even know he had a sister). This book was really good when it came to historical accuracy and it was well written. I really did like Nannerl, and really did sympathize with her once her father started pushing her aside and focus more on Wolfgang.

    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.

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  • Posted October 26, 2010

    Great Story!

    I loved the insight into the life of not just Mozart, but his family as well. If you love historical fiction, this is a book for you!

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  • Posted February 22, 2010

    Mozart's Sister is intriguing and interesting.

    This is a wonderful historical fiction book. The interest comes from two areas: the many letters that had been preserved between the family members so actual conversations were not hard to create and give it authenticity; the other interest comes from reading the customs and zeitgeist of that time in history.

    Many might find it difficult to read because they may feel no patience with the the protagonist as she continually defers to the various authorities in her life: her father, the local political leaders who did yield a great deal of influence, her "role" as a woman defined by the social structure of that century. It is a fact based story and interesting to read about another era, especially to read WHY Mozart's sister did the things she did.

    Motivation is a great subject for book club discussions, along with discussion of duty to family, to God, to different social structures in which we find ourselves. Discussions can lead to how are we the same, as well as different, than Nannerl. It seems that some things never change, even over hundreds of years. Which things? What motivates us today? How are we (as women) held back today, just as she was held back by strong societal and familial and religious structure? Nannerl had a great sense of duty and practicality about her, and a sense of understanding that things could have been worse. How can we use those very attitudes positively in our lives today? Can we find satisfaction in a life well lived, even if it isn't the life we would have purposefully chosen for ourselves? If we can't overcome circumstances, WHAT can we do?

    This isn't a book to imagine yourself in, but rather to observe and learn from. It is a book that may well grow on you as the main chacacter grows up and narrates in the first person. I am glad that I didn't live in that time period, but I did enjoy the story, beautifully written, about that time.

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  • Posted January 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Mozart: The Untold Story

    Have you seen the movie Amadeus? It is one of the best historical movies I have ever seen. But interestingly, there is no mention (at least that I can remember) of Mozart's sister. Therefore reading this book was like stumbling on a long lost diary. This book is wonderfully written, rich in detail and description. I could see myself visiting all the palaces and different cities with the Mozart family. This would have been sibling rivalry at its finest. I totally sided with Nannerl throughout the whole book. Her brother made it very difficult for her to be happy with her life. Everything that she wanted had to be put aside to help her brother become famous. I really thought it was sad that she could not do what her brother did simply because she was a girl. The unfairness of everything for Nannerl is just painful. I also really felt sorry for her mother who had to sacrifice everything for her son and husband. What I liked about the book was that even though Nannerl had to show her love and support for her brother, we also can see how she struggled with having total allegiance with him. Reading about how she was mad and angry with the men in her life made her seem like a real person. Nancy Moser has written an excellent work of historical fiction. Between this book and Just Jane, she has proven herself to be an outstanding name in this genre. I would love to see this book made into a movie. Highly recommended for music and history fans.

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  • Posted January 29, 2009

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    Wonderfully written and deeply satisfying fiction...

    The opening scene pulled me into the story, whetting my appetite for more. I thought the author's use of different words from music composition to describe each stage of Nannerl's life incredibly genius. The author's attention to culture and detail created a fascination in me for that era. I was there. I also found the Mozart family's eccentricities interesting. As the story continued I found myself empathizing with Nannerl. A few times I wish she'd made better choices for herself, but since this was based on her actual life, the author didn't have much liberty there. I thoroughly enjoyed being drawn into that portion of European history with all of its sad realities. More people died than lived, especially children and infants. And the horrid practices of medical science at the time made me cringe as I read about them. I appreciated the author's obvious research into the way things were for women in the late 18th century. My heart ached for Nannerl as she continued to be the obedient child despite the consequences. I loved her epiphany when she realized that Wolfie did what he wanted and still managed to do well with his life, and she denied herself her own desires and wishes only to be disappointed in the end. I ached for her loss of love, her desire to please her family at her own expense, yet I found it very realistic. The author made me care about this woman born so long ago. At first I wasn't sure I'd like the ending because of circumstances I shall not mention or it would be a spoiler, but let me just say that I ended up feeling good about the way the author concluded the story of Nannerl Mozart's life. That made me feel much better when I closed the book. I could not have made some of the sacrifices Nannerl made and applaud the author for bringing insight into the times Nannerl was forced to live in. Wonderful story, heartwrenching on several occasions, but thoroughly enjoyable. I adored every page and am thoroughly impressed with the author's use of the first person point of view. I often failed to notice and felt as if I were the heroine in the story. For that I give the author a hearty, bravo!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2006

    Beautiful and sensitive historical novel.

    A very enligthning book based on historical records and extremely well written.

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